Alliance against childhood: Revisiting Fool's Gold

Lloyd, Margaret M. (2002) Alliance against childhood: Revisiting Fool's Gold. In ACEC 2002: Linking Learners, July 11-13, 2002, Hobart, Tasmania.


In September 1999, the U.S. based lobby group, the Alliance for Childhood, released a report entitled Fool’s Gold: A Critical Look at Computers in Childhood. It called for a moratorium on the purchase of computers in schools, and argued for a nostalgic return to traditional teacher based classrooms. The report was immediately denounced by the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) as being misguided in interpreting the problems of U.S. education as the products of technology. It was seen to be verbalising the worst fears of parents whose main source of information is from a sensationalising media (M. Williams, personal communication, December 6, 2001). This paper will support these responses, and will also address the disequilibration caused by the report which has made it difficult to shake or dismiss outright. This paper will review the Executive Summary of the Fool’s Gold report regarding it as an encapsulation of the report’s main arguments. This summary is to be found at computers/computer_reports.htm. This paper will revisit the Fool’s Gold Report and use a combination of critical discourse and critical literacy processes to deconstruct its text (Lloyd, 1998; Luke, 1997). It will also, through this deconstruction, refer to the literature of the domain and relevant media reports, and will make use, where possible of Australian examples to refute many of the report’s assertions. It will position the report in its historical, political and cultural context arguing that it is a product of its time in (a) the shadow of the predicted Y2K collapse, (b) the prelude to the 2000 U.S. Presidential elections, (c) the polar stances of the contemporary media on information and communications technologies (Lloyd, 1998; Lloyd, 2000; Turkle, 1996); and, (d) more generally, the doom saying prevalent in any time of transition (Olson, 1987).

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ID Code: 3573
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Sociological pressure, media, benefits of technology, Fool's Gold, ACCE, ACEC
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 20 Feb 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:30

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