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Prof. Dr. Felicitas Macgilchrist

Felicitas Macgilchrist is Professor of Digital Education and Schooling. Her research and teaching explores the cultural politics of educational technology, with a focus on critical, ethnographic and speculative approaches. She is Principal Investigator of research projects at the nexus of digital culture and education, including the ethnographic study of digital practices in schools (LernDiWa), design-based research in FabLabs (FaBuLoUS), critical utopian approaches to education (ETIC), and the transformation of epistemic practices when textbooks become digital (BM4). She is project lead on the international joint project, Reconfigurations of Educational In/Edualities in a Digital World (RED), co-editor of Learning, Media and Technology and founder of Palgrave Studies in Educational Media. She occasionally advises local, regional and national governments as well as the EU and UNESCO on issues related to digital education and educational technology (edtech).

Curriculum vitae

Since 2023    Professor of Digital Education and Schooling [Digitale Bildung in der Schule], Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany 
2019 – 2023 Department Head, Media|Transformation [Mediale Transformationen], Leibniz-Institut für Bildungsmedien | Georg-Eckert-Institute (GEI), Braunschweig, Germany
  Founder and Head of The Basement. The Georg-Eckert-Institute’s Digital Lab
  Co-Founder and Deputy Speaker of the Leibniz ScienceCampus—Postdigital Participation—Braunschweig
2016 – 2023 Professor of Media Research with a Focus on Educational Media [Medienforschung mit dem Schwerpunkt Bildungsmedien], Institute for Educational Science, University of Göttingen, Germany
2016 Habilitation, Education, TU Braunschweig, Germany
2016 Visiting Scholar, University of Birmingham, UK
2015 – 2018 Department Head, Textbooks as Media, GEI
2013 – 2017 Junior Research Group Leader, GEI
2012 – 2013 Maternity leave
2011 Visiting Scholar, Gent University, Belgium
2009 – 2012 Research Fellow (Postdoc), GEI
2009 Dr. phil., Cultural Sciences, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder, Germany
2006 – 2007  Head of Languages, Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences, Berlin, Germany
2004 – 2005 Visiting Scholar, New York University, USA
2003 – 2009 PhD candidate, DFG Graduate School “Representation – Rhetoric – Knowledge”, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder, Germany
2003 MA Education (Applied Linguistics), Open University, UK
1998 – 2004 Teacher, trainer and teacher trainer for English as a Foreign Language, various language institutes and universities in Germany, Russia, Vietnam and the UK
1998 RSA/Cambridge CELTA (Certificate in Language Teaching to Adults), International House, Newcastle, UK
1997 BSc (Honours) Psychology, University of Edinburgh, UK

Research Interests

  • Digital education: What kinds of futures are, for instance, imagined by today's edtech, educational policy or educational practices? Are educational institutions changing as they use new technologies and data infrastructures? If so, how?
  • Education, technology and inequality: How is technology - from blackboards to "AI" - entangled with inequality in education? How are educational stakeholders engaging with technology and inequality? Where can we find design justice in edtech?
  • Qualitative and post-qualitative inquiry: How do discourse studies, ethnography, speculative methods, critical data studies, and design research help us to explore education? How can a critical utopian approach contribute to theorising education?


A full list of publications can be found here, with approx. 100 publications on technology, education and media discourse:

Recent work on design (justice) and planetary futures

Macgilchrist, F., Jarke, J., Allert, H., & Cerratto Pargman, T. (2023). Designing postdigital futures: Which designs? Whose futures? Postdigital Science and Education, online first.

Macgilchrist, F., & Costello, E. (2023). Imagination and justice: Teaching the future(s) of higher education through Africanfuturist speculative fiction. In L. Czerniewicz & C. Cronin (Eds.), Higher Education for Good (pp. 445–472). Open Book Publishers.

Macgilchrist, F. (2021). Rewilding technology. On Education. Journal for Research and Debate, 4(12).

Suoranta, J., Teräs, M., Teräs, H., Jandrić, P., Ledger, S., Macgilchrist, F., & Prinsloo, P. (2021). Speculative Social Science Fiction of Digitalization in Higher Education: From What Is to What Could Be. Postdigital Science and Education, online first.

Recent work on AI, datafication and schools

Macgilchrist, F., Hartong, S., & Jornitz, S. (2023/i.E.). Algorithmische Datafizierung und Schule: kritische Ansätze in einem wachsenden Forschungsfeld. In K. Scheiter & I. Gogolin (Eds.), Bildung für die digitale Zukunft (Edition ZfE). Springer VS.

Bock, A., Breiter, A., Hartong, S., Jarke, J., Jornitz, S., Lange, A., & Macgilchrist, F. (Eds.). (2023). Die datafizierte Schule. Springer VS.

Williamson, B., Macgilchrist, F., & Potter, J. (2023). Re-examining AI, automation and datafication in education Learning, Media & Technology, 48(1).

Recent ethnographic work on digital practices in schools

Proske, M., Rabenstein, K., Moldenhauer, A., Thiersch, S., Bock, A., Herrle, M., Hoffmann, M., Langer, A., Macgilchrist, F., Wagener-Böck, N., & Wolf, E. (Eds.). (2023). Schule und Unterricht im digitalen Wandel. Ansätze und Erträge rekonstruktiver Forschung. Klinkhardt.

Rabenstein, K., Wagener-Böck, N., Macgilchrist, F., & Bock, A. (2022). Interferenzen in digitalen Praktiken der Bereitstellung von unterrichtlichen Aufgaben. Ethnographische Beobachtungen in der Pandemie. Sozialer Sinn, 297-316.

Wagener-Böck, N., Macgilchrist, F., Rabenstein, K., & Bock, A. (2023). From automation to symmation: Ethnographic perspectives on what happens in front of the screen. Postdigital Science and Education, 5, 136–151.

Recent commentaries on critical studies of education and technology

Macgilchrist, F. (2023). Diskurs der Digitalität und Pädagogik. In S. Assmann & N. Ricken (Eds.), Bildung und Digitalität. Analysen – Diskurse - Perspektiven (pp. 47-71). Springer VS.

Macgilchrist, F. (2021). Theories of Postdigital Heterogeneity: Implications for Research on Education and Datafication. Postdigital Science and Education, 3(3), 660-667.

Macgilchrist, F. (2021). What is ‘critical’ in critical studies of edtech? Three responses. Learning, Media & Technology, 46(3), 243-249.

Recent work on postdigital participation

Weich, A., & Macgilchrist, F. (Eds.). (2023). Postdigital Participation in Education. Palgrave.

Poltze, K., Demuth, K., Eke, S., Moebus, A., & Macgilchrist, F. (2022). Erfahrungen des Partizipierens. Reflexionen zu partizipativen Forschungs- und Gestaltungsprozessen. bildungsforschung, 2022(2), 1-14.

Research projects

Current projects

I am also on the Research Board of Educational Ecosystems: Patterns, Practices and Services (EEPPS) and associated with Speculative Social Science Fiction of Digitalization in Higher Education in Finland.

Previous projects (selection)

  • Leibniz WissenschaftsCampus—Postdigitale Partizipation —Braunschweig (2019-2023)
  • The Basement: Das Digital Lab des Leibniz-Instituts für Bildungsmedien (Initialförderung 2019-2021)
  • DATA For and In Education. The Construction of School in a Datafied Society (DATAFIED) (2018-2023)
  • globalDAS: Global Citizenship at German Schools Abroad (2019-2021)
  • digDAS: Digital Media at German Schools Abroad (2016-2018)
  • Memory Practices: Enacting and Contesting the Curriculum in Contemporary Classrooms (2012-2017)
(Changed: 21 Nov 2023)  | 
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