Responsive or responsible? Democratic education for the global networked society

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In this article, which is based on an invited keynote presentation given at the 14th biennial conference of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI), the author discusses the question of how education should respond to the ongoing rise of the global networked society. He provides an analysis of the history and transformation of global networks, making a distinction between centred, decentred and pseudo-decentred networks. Against this background he discusses two different educational responses to the global networked society. He characterises the first as a responsive response, one where education is urged to adapt itself to the demands of the global networked society. He discusses the twenty-first-century skills movement as an example of such a response. He characterises the second as a responsible response, one that takes a more critical position vis-á-vis the different manifestations and demands of such a society. He argues that the proper educational response has to be a responsible rather than a responsive one, on the assumption that education should always be understood as more than just a function of existing social and societal orders because it comes with a duty to resist. He shows how this duty is both inherently educational and inherently democratic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-744
Number of pages12
JournalPolicy Futures in Education
Issue number6
Early online date1 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013

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