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Foucault's Toolbox: Critical Insights for Education and Technology Researchers

Learning, Media and Technology Volume 40, Number 4, ISSN 1743-9884


Despite having been a prolific academic, whose work exerts considerable cross-discipline influence, the ideas of Foucault are largely neglected in educational technology scholarship. Having provided an initial brief overview of the sparse use of Foucault's work in this sub-field, this paper then seeks to generate new understandings, arguing that his texts have ongoing relevance, particularly if ed-tech research is to escape its limited, instrumentalism and critically engage with broader social, economic and political concerns. To this end Foucault's writings on technology, discourse and panopticism are considered and the analytical insights they offer into educational technology research explored. Whilst recognising that it is impossible to do justice to Foucault's oeuvre in such a short piece, it is hoped that through providing an introduction to these key concepts and suggesting problems that they could be used to addresses a more critical approach to educational technology will be engendered.


Hope, A. (2015). Foucault's Toolbox: Critical Insights for Education and Technology Researchers. Learning, Media and Technology, 40(4), 536-549. Retrieved March 7, 2021 from .

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