Etherington, M. (2008). E-learning pedagogy in the primary school classroom: the McDonaldization of education. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 33 (5), 29-54.
This paper begins as an initial rejoinder to the ideas expressed by Ross (2000) in The Promise and Perils of E-Learning: A critical look at the new technology. In his article, Ross supports the traditional practices of pedagogy at the primary school level—face-to-face pedagogy— and then critiques what he describes as a ‘fetishisation’ of technological pedagogy—a fetishisation seen in the increase of E-learning pedagogy at the primary school level. The ideas expressed in this article gain their structure and momentum from Ross’s (2000) arguments against E-learning and extends a more cautious approach to the widespread belief in the success of E-learning pedagogy. The main thesis is that E-learning spawns numerous problems for primary students—namely a homogenisation and dehumanisation. This ultimately leads to what Ritzer (2000) calls a ‘McDonaldisation of education’.
Peer-reviewed, computer based education, web based learning, digital education