To give: ethically storying data

Louise Phillips*, M. Obaidul Hamid, Vicente Jr Reyes, Ian Hardy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


We live in a data-driven world. The voluminous scale of data gathered can lead to diminished consciousness of ethics whilst economic interests are prioritised. Across recent decades education has come to be heavily data driven and datafied. We have witnessed the dehumanising and increased labour impacts of school datafication. In search for alternatives, we wonder about the role and hope of story. We look to the etymological roots of data to see how a relationship with story may work to foreground ethicality, through attention to positionality, values, presence, representation and form. As education researchers of differing socio-cultural backgrounds, we bring diverse illustrations of how these five considerations feature in our research with educational data and trouble the politics of education data in a post-truth world. To further resonate a merging of story with data for ethical research, we apply Derrida’s metonymic logos: “cinders there are”, reminding us of the traces of life in data. We close with questions to inform ethical consciousness to storied data with transparent attention to positionality, values, presence, representation and form.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalEducational Review
Early online date11 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Educational Review.


  • cinders
  • Data
  • ethically
  • Storying


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