Learning ‘in the hive’: social character and student wellbeing in the age of psychometric data

Bates, A (2021) 'Learning ‘in the hive’: social character and student wellbeing in the age of psychometric data.' Critical Studies in Education. ISSN 1750-8487

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/17508487.2021.1948880

Abstract

Growing societal concern about a crisis in the wellbeing of young people has prompted a range of responses from governments and corporations, predicated on an ideal of the resilient, self-reliant individual. Behavioural economists, data scientists and educational technology companies now offer a variety of psychological interventions based on psychometric data, aimed at ‘equipping’ individual students with the necessary skills and character to enable them to withstand the pressures of contemporary life. As a consequence, the critical importance of mutually supportive interpersonal relationships continues to be neglected in mainstream approaches to Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). This article draws on Fromm’s theory of social character and Zuboff’s analysis of ‘life in the hive’ to challenge the assumptions about human behaviour underpinning data science and its application in digital tools for social and emotional learning and self-managed wellbeing. To improve students’ wellbeing, we need to begin with an understanding of why they are more likely to thrive within a network of mutually supportive social relationships than a digital ‘hive’.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: social character, psychometric data, Fromm, Zuboff, social and emotional learning student wellbeing
Divisions: School of Education
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/17508487.2021.1948880
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2021 17:30
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:56
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