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‘Powerful knowledge’, Media Studies and technology

What are the problems with theories of ‘powerful knowledge’, and how might they apply to teaching about (and with) media and technology?

Knowledge is one of the key buzzwords in contemporary educational debate. In the UK, writers as seemingly diverse as Frank Furedi, Michael Young, Daisy Christodoulou, Katharine Birbalsingh and Toby Young have all energetically promoted the idea of a ‘knowledge-rich’ curriculum, and argued for the teaching of ‘powerful knowledge’. It’s not hard to see why these ideas have appealed to Conservative education ministers like Michael Gove and Nick Gibb, with their predilection for teaching lists of the kings and queens of England.

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