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Positioning Education in the Information Society: The Transnational Diffusion of the Information and Communication Technology Curriculum


Comparative Education Review Volume 53, Number 4, ISSN 0010-4086


One of the most distinctive qualities that characterize present-day society is the social fact that people are shifting to the information age. In recent years, they have witnessed remarkable developments in information and communication technology (ICT), in which microelectronics, computers, and telecommunications have converged. Transnational debates on its social and economic significance have made ICT "socially meaningful," attracting considerable attention in different fields within the social sciences and humanities. In the 1980s, international agencies began to elaborate rationales in which ICT was viewed as providing scaffolding to enhance education, as many scholars stressed the importance of informatics as a new language in the contemporary social condition under which the cooperative production of creative knowledge is highly emphasized. In 2000, the Group of Eight heads of state adopted a charter that advocated providing more opportunities for school children to develop ICT literacy in order to prepare them to be "capable of responding to the demands of the information age." With such processes of rationalization and further technological innovations, the social meaning of space and time has changed substantially, and the rise of interactive networks in virtual spaces has become a manifest social reality. Although it remains controversial whether this information era is truly revolutionary as a discrete historical phase, the significance of information technology and its social impact on diverse fields cannot be underestimated. Education is not an exception; teachers are encouraged to use new instructional models that integrate ICT into pedagogical practices through which the stimulation of various authentic activities becomes possible in the classroom. As creative new teaching methods have embraced new technologies to redesign curricular content, there have been many studies on the use of ICT for enhancing education. Much of the debate seems, however, to revolve around the development of new instructional methods, with little speculation on the impact of social changes associated with the technology. In this study, the authors investigate the transnational character of the ICT curriculum. Their primary question is: Is the incorporation of ICT into the official curriculum simply a functional response to meet a country's concrete societal needs? They argue that the institutionalization of ICT as a legitimate body of school knowledge is a transnational phenomenon as an embodiment of world-level discourses on education. In the modern world system, national educational systems and their school curricula are likely to be influenced by the social dynamics in the wider environment. (Contains 1 figure, 4 tables and 24 footnotes.)


Ham, S.H. & Cha, Y.K. (2009). Positioning Education in the Information Society: The Transnational Diffusion of the Information and Communication Technology Curriculum. Comparative Education Review, 53(4), 535-557. Retrieved December 14, 2019 from .

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