The ‘Digital’ as Problem and Purpose in Education Policy

  • Shane B. DugganEmail author


In this chapter, Duggan extends previous work into the announcement of ‘coding in schools’ policy in Australia since 2015. Drawing on Federal Hansard records, he examines the critical debate around innovation and training, and its embedding of computer coding as a key ‘literacy of the future’ in the Australian educational landscape. This chapter provides a critical analysis of parliamentary debates, media releases, and engagements by Government and Opposition Federal Ministers to consider how the re/articulation and embedding of innovation and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education takes up an idealised notion of ‘the future’ as tech-enabled and in need of policy response to ‘the new’. The analysis highlights three lines of debate that have emerged in operationalising and responding educational policy in the wake of digital labour market disruption: first, the rise and reach of networked infrastructures into traditional modes of life and work; second, the future value of existing and proposed programmes of study; and third, the implications for resourcing in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis and uneven economic recovery. Combined, this chapter argues that whilst a policy focus on technical and instrumental skills such as computer coding may help young people to interact with dominant technologies of the present, they also risk weakening a more substantive conversation around educational participation and purpose in the present, and for the future.


Futures Networked infrastructures Digital labour market 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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