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About the research project: Algorithmic Sorting in Education

Philipp Schmitt / Better Images of AI / Neural network diagram / CC-BY 4.0

AI-supported educational technologies are mostly still in the phase of development and testing. Accordingly, the question of their actual social and educational impact has not yet been decided. Against this background, the project examines the interplay of two fields of professional practice that play a key role in working on and with AI in school education, but have so far hardly been considered in their intricate interplay: the pedagogical field and the technological field. 

Our project combines two empirical components: (1) Focus groups (“qualitative experiments”) are designed to examine which pedagogical and technological assumptions actors in both fields use when they think, talk, and debate about the promises and risks of algorithmic sorting in education. (2) Case studies are organized to investigate how, on the basis of these ideas, concrete decisions are made on the technological design or the pedagogical use of AI-supported educational technologies in concrete situations of everyday professional life. 

On this basis, the project aims to reveal tensions and contradictions between pedagogical and technological visions that help to understand why AI-supported technologies can lead to unwanted effects of social sorting. At the same time, important prerequisites for a socially responsible and pedagogically sustainable work on and with AI-supported technologies will be identified. 


Click here for the project description in the SNSF data portal.

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