'Gilding the grid': the marketing of the National Grid for Learning

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Although the National Grid for Learning (NGfL) has been thrust upon the education sector amidst a blaze of publicity, the 'physical' construction of the Grid promises to be a slow process, with the government giving an optimistic target of 3 years before the initiative will approach full operation. In the meantime, a major initial step in the construction of the NGfL has been the marketing of the Grid to an educational sector historically resistant and sceptical towards Information and Communications Technology. This paper therefore explores the emerging discourse of the NGfL by examining seven examples of marketing and promotional material produced by industry and the government. From these texts, we can therefore gain a sense of how the NGfL is beginning to be shaped at a macro level by its key actors. After presenting the seven texts, the paper explores the predominant themes underlying this discursive construction and highlights an underlying deterministic positioning of the Learning Grid. The paper concludes by considering the limitations of shaping the Learning Grid in this manner and argues for an alternative perspective in future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-68
Number of pages14
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

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