Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Toward a critical instructional technology: Instrumental rationality, objectification, and psychologism
by Gur, Bekir S., Ph.D., Utah State University, 2007, 140; 3279563
Abstract (Summary)

Using a multiple-paper format, this dissertation includes three papers. By providing critiques of instrumental rationality, objectification, and psychologism in instructional technology, this study aims to provide a tentative formulation of a critical instructional technology that is sensitive to power and ethics.

The first article starts by presenting a theoretical discussion of instrumental rationality in instructional technology (IT). Then, it focuses on how the instrumental view became dominant in the field. The article explores the notion of the designer/technologist as a specific intellectual. It claims that efficiency should not be understood as an economical, instrumental, or technical matter, but an ethical one. It then focuses on potential pathways for advancing the field of educational technology in terms of systems design and userdesign.

The second article presents an overview of Heidegger's genealogy of and critique of modern technology. It then presents a phenomenological discussion on the importance of body (or embodiment) in learning. Some of the political/economical problems regarding mandating teachers to teach a predesigned course of instruction are investigated. It concludes that instructional designers' meaningful technological interventions need to be aligned with approaches to the professional development of teachers-not with the objectification in which the subjectivities, bodies, and faces of teachers and students become irrelevant.

The third article presents a brief genealogy of IT in relation to the influence of psychology. Moreover, it provides a critical and hermeneutical framework for psychology. Then, it discusses some problems of psychologism, focusing on positivism, metaphysics, cultural ecology, and power. IT professionals are encouraged to engage reflectively with the power relations and ethical issues in which they are involved. The article points out a need for looking at psychology more comprehensively (e.g., critical and hermeneutical psychology).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wiley, David A.
School: Utah State University
School Location: United States -- Utah
Source: DAI-A 68/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational software
Keywords: Critical pedagogy, Educational technology, Instructional technology, Instrumental rationality, Objectification, Psychologism
Publication Number: 3279563
ISBN: 9780549214106
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