Document Type

Article in Response to Controversy


The entry of Big Data into the educational field has generated noticeable binary reactions and a recycling of criticisms already directed at the quantification of reality, datafication in the social sciences, standardization in education, and neoliberalism in the West. This paper reapproaches Big Data’s entry into education from a curriculum studies perspective, which deploys interdisciplinary approaches from philosophy, history, sociology and politics of knowledge and wisdom. The analysis of key definitional debates, binary reactions, and systematization are considered from the point of view of historically shifting technologies of self, as core conditions of possibility for the controversies that emerge when two fields intersect. Specifically, the alliance presumed between self and knowledge, and of both with reality, have long and provincial heritages that contemporary movements such as Big Data seem to reanimate and reconfigure. The paper concludes with consideration of whether Big Data can be understood as a gamechanger in the educational and curriculum fields and if so, on what basis.





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