Personal, relational and beautiful: education, technologies and John Macmurray's philosophy

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Fifty years ago, the philosopher John Macmurray responded to calls for education to redesign itself around the exigencies of international competition with a robust rebuttal of such instrumentalism. He argued instead that the purpose of education was ‘learning to be human’. This paper explores how Macmurray’s ideas might be applied to contemporary use of technology in education. In so doing, it argues that the use of technologies in education should be guided by the aspiration to create socio-technical practices that are personal (located with the person), relational (a resource for friendship and collaboration) and beautiful (designed to promote reflection and contemplation).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-725
Number of pages17
JournalOxford Review of Education
Issue number6
Early online date7 Dec 2012
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2012


  • Data
  • Education
  • Ethics
  • Philosophy
  • Young people
  • Technologies
  • Future

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