Chair: Ben WilliamsonEducational Imaginaries and how to Educate Citizens about AI: a Research Agenda
Lina Rahm (KTH, Sweden) and Jörgen Rahm-Skågeby (Stockholm University, Sweden)
Education has always been a way to prepare citizens for the future. Right now, artificial intelligence (AI) is regarded as a key emerging technology that will change the future radically in all areas of life. As such, many educational stakeholders, at different levels, are considering how best to convey the necessary knowledges and skills to the general population in order to prepare them for a future where AI is ubiquitous. But what exactly are we supposed to learn, and why? This presentation begins to explore how knowledge about AI is construed and represented in policies and broad citizen education, and what social, political and epistemic meaning the construction and representation of said knowledge produces. By looking at problematisations (ways that problems and solutions are co-constructed) and epistemic injustice (ways in which certain knowledge is privileged) in international education policies and massive online AI courses, this presentation argues that the ways in which policymakers, researchers, and educators conceptualise and talk about AI matters. The overall aim is therefore to deepen our scientific understanding of the educational preconditions that informal learning about AI rests on, and thereby support the development of critically reflexive and just citizen education about AI futures.
Towards Understanding how Education Digitalization and Datafication contribute to Perpetual Nation-Building
Nelli Piattoeva (Tampere University)
In a recent review of literature on the relationship between education and nationalism, Tröhler (2020) has identified a “large underestimation of nationalism in education and curriculum research and the ignorance of education in the theoretical study of nationalism.” Contemporary education is however being deeply transformed by the processes of digitalization and datafication of education (Williamson, 2017, Selwyn, 2016). Bearing in mind that education has been a central arena of the reproduction of everyday nationalism, I engage with the question of how this historical relationship manifests in our age of education digitalization and datafication. This interest also follows recent debates in the nationalism studies that seek to explore how nationalism endures in the current times marked by seemingly reverse processes of globalization and digitalization (see also Mihelj & Jiménez-Martínez, 2021). Nationalism tends to be studied when it is on “steroids” – a passionate focus of purposeful manipulation (Fox, 2016). But most of the time, nationhood is reproduced in banal ways (Billig, 1995), thus also posing an evidence problem. This paper is to address this evidence-cum-epistemology problem by suggesting that the relationship between education, nationalism and digitalization could be studied in representational and performative modalities. The representational approach investigates how the nation is discursively reproduced in the digital contexts of education. The performative approach studies how the nation is reproduced in the sociotechnical conditions of the digital. With these two approaches in mind, which also echo Bonikowski’s (2016) division of nationalism into ideology and practice, this paper will offer glimpses into the digital reproduction of the nation in the realm of school education, building on my own and others’ empirical examples.