📓 Ideology

Ideology is often used as a criticism, however, as Greg Thompson explains, saying something is ‘ideological’ misses the point:

I read it, everything we believe is already ideological because we are necessarily social (for example, through language). Saying this, however, does not imply that any position held is necessarily right or wrong, rather that within the ontological and epistemological assumptions of any belief system ideology invariable precedes consciousness. For this reason, I don’t mind being called ideological (of course I am) or suggesting that others are ideological (of course they are).source

Bernard Bull adds his own take on ideology:

I’ve come across this countless times in education, with any number of stakeholders declaring that the problem with education is ideology. If only we focused on scientific and evidence-based practice, then education would be in great shape. Only that statement represents an ideologysource

French Marxist Louis Althusser argued in his paper Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses that there is no beyond or outside within which we can exist. Instead, we are always already interpellated, called into existence.

Thus ideology hails or interpellates individuals as subjects. As ideology is eternal, I must now suppress the temporal form in which I have presented the functioning of ideology, and say: ideology has always-already interpellated individuals as subjects, which amounts to making it clear that individuals are always-already interpellated by ideology as subjects, which necessarily leads us to one last proposition: individuals are always-already subjects. Hence individuals are ‘abstract’ with respect to the subjects which they always already are. This proposition might seem paradoxical. source

Adding to this, Althusser highlights that there is no point outside of ideology:

What thus seems to take place outside ideology (to be precise, in the street), in reality takes place in ideology. What really takes place in ideology seems therefore to take place outside it. That is why those who are in ideology believe themselves by definition outside ideology: one of the effects of ideology is the practical
denial of the ideological character of ideology by ideology: ideology never says, “I am ideological.” Source

Coming from a different perspective, Michael Foucault discusses the challenges of identity in Archaeology of Knowledge where he states:

Do not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same: leave it to our bureaucrats and our police to see that our papers are in order. At least spare us their morality when we write.

Liked Testing is not a moral agent (drbeardface.net)
We should stop treating tests like moral agents that can define the future. I agree with David Rutkowski’s point about agency, perhaps we’d be well-advised to think about what is enabled, and what we don’t have to do, when we cede our agency to tests and ask whether we really breath a sigh of relief that it is our responsibility we can explain away. The desire for a testing regime is a symptom, not a cause, and it seems to me if you better understand those individual and collective desires at work, you may understand why it is that reconciliACTION and social justice remain distractable.
Replied to #Ascilite17 by Greg Thompson (drbeardface.net)
Stiegler argues, the double potential of technology is that it also has the potential to deliver what he terms “singularisation”. One of the ways of thinking about this is to consider how it is that culture can interrupt (or catch up) with the ultrarapid technological change that students, schools and school personnel are increasingly contending with.
The history of personalisation, automation and machine learning is something that cannot be spoken about enough. EdTech seems to have a habit of seemingly surpressing many of these aspects in the desire for simplicity. People like Audrey Watters, Ben Williamson, Naomi Barnes and yourself do a good job of at least maintaining an alternate dialogue.

What I find interesting is that in placing hope with ‘big data’ we embrace a particular approach to data and identity. Firstly, it seems based on the premise of collecting coapieus amounts of data. Secondly, it depends on a rigid foundation of personal data collection.

A part of my current position involves aligning schools with SIF compliance. Along with APIs, such standards seem to be assumed. This world is far from simple and it consequences are not always clear.

I am intrigued with the idea of a ‘politics of technics’ and ‘singularisation’ wondering what that might actually mean in practice for the classroom teacher? School principal? EdTech coach? System leader? Researcher? Is it about identifying other possibilities? As I read Jenny Mackness’ recent words about changes in ‘learning and teaching’, I wonder if this is a part of it? At the very least we need different and divergent stories and I don’t know that we hear enough of them.