A grounded approach to social and ethical concerns about technology and education

Helen Nissenbaum, Decker Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This is an inquiry into the problem of how practicing educators can build the conviction to act in response to social and ethical concerns they hold about technology and education. The inquiry is essentially philosophical in that it consists of a close examination of the language, concepts, and meanings people employ in thinking and talking about these matters. It is not an empirical study of the nature, extent, or frequency of teachers' concerns about computers nor of the ways they actually do respond to their concerns. Rather, it is an effort to show by example how educators who are concerned about one issue - dehumanization - could examine their concern and reach a responsible, informed judgment about its validity and seriousness. The method we use to examine these concerns combines the conceptual analysis characteristic of analytic philosophy with the review and interpretation of social science research on important empirical questions. We refer to this as a grounded approach. The goal of the inquiry is to use the grounded approach to examine and evaluate one particular set of concerns and to show how it can offer responsible educators a justifiable basis for acting (or refraining from action) on their concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-432
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Educational Computing Research
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

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