chapter  Chapter Four
14 Pages

The Discursive Construction of the National Grid for Learning, 1997-2002

WithNeil Selwyn

This chapter offers a comparison of the ‘mythologising’ of education computing throughout the 1980s with the rhetoric surrounding New Labour’s flagship educational technology policy – the National Grid for Learning (NGfL). It examines how the NGfL is being discursively constructed by government and official actors at a macro level through policy and advisory documents, official statements and other rhetoric. The chapter aims to show how such construction negates crucial social and economic elements of the initiative and threatens, ultimately, to restrict the eventual educational effectiveness of the Grid. The Government has taken considerable care to position the Learning Grid within the wider discourses of the ‘information age’ and ‘computer revolution’. Adopting a social and cultural analysis of the NGfL it is also quickly apparent that the initiative should not be seen, as it currently is being presented, as a ‘technical fix’ for education.