Eventos Académicos, 39 ISCHE. Educación y emancipación

Tamaño de fuente: 
Motivational Technology and the Production of the Entrepreneurial Mind
Lukas Held

Última modificación: 2017-07-17


Scientification of education in West Germany since the late 1960s was as much about new learning goals, such as learning how to learn, analytical thinking and lifelong learning as it was about new ways of instruction. Focusing on the instructional side of this change in education, the paper will argue that the introduction of motivational technology to teaching can fruitfully be understood as an invasion or colonization of the mind. By analyzing how a clinical test technology, the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), was turned into a tool for motivational training, the paper will show how psychologists in the USA and West Germany made students adopt a very specific way of thinking. This resulted in the production of an achievement oriented, entrepreneurial mindset, which would soon become normalized as the standard students’ mind. By objectifying unconscious thought, while the TAT was used as an educational technology, it also turned into a technology of the self, which promoted a very specific form of subjectification, characterized by moderate goal setting, self-attribution, self-evaluation and a constant concern with an individualized standard of excellence.The paper will investigate what it actually means when a test technology is transformed into an educational technology. Furthermore, it will attempt to show that such a development is not merely about the transfer of a tool from the realm of science into the realm of education but also very much about the transfer of culturally and historically specific values, not just between countries (the USA and West Germany) but also between disciplines (psychology, economics, education). The paper will be based on archival sources from two major motivation psychologists engaged in educational work: David McClelland at Harvard University and Heinz Heckhausen at the University of Bochum, as well as a selection of articles from scientific journals from both sides of the Atlantic.