Close window
 MPIfG Podcasts



Mitchell Stevens
Education without States


Download audio podcast
Virtually all of what social scientists know about education is built on the presumption that education is a right guaranteed, if not necessarily provided, by governments. Throughout the twentieth century most educational data were produced and analyzed with government patronage, with the resulting knowledge deployed to nurture modern citizens and build modern states. Very recently, proprietary firms are producing huge new stores of education data through digitally mediated instruction. They also are underwriting scientific inquiry with these data in the interest of improving privately-owned educational products and services. This represents a major change in the ecology of educational knowledge production that has been largely overlooked by observers of the digital revolution in education. This lecture provides a synthetic description of this change and specifies its implications for education science, governments, education businesses, and citizenship in the twenty-first century.
Mitchell Stevens is Director of Digital Research and Planning at Stanford University. He coordinates Stanford's varied efforts to build research capacity in the new sciences of teaching and learning made possible by digitally mediated instruction. He is Associate Professor of Education and (by courtesy) Business and Sociology at Stanford Graduate School of Education. He also serves as Director of the Scandinavian Consortium for Organizational Research ( Among his publications are Creating a Class: College Admissions and the Education of Elites (Harvard 2007) and Kingdom of Children: Culture and Controversy in the Homeschooling Movement (Princeton 2001). He is currently writing a book on how US research universities organize research and teaching regarding the rest of the world. Stevens speaks frequently to audiences worldwide about the changing relationship between universities, governments, and private capital.
Close window