Educational justice and big data

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the effects of incorporating information and communication technologies in schools in terms of distributive justice. To do so, four issues that are central to educational justice are discussed: scarcity of resources, the positional nature of education, peer effects, and biases in educational decision-making. The discussion exposes a complicated picture of possible benefits and challenges associated with incorporating data-rich technologies in education. While technology may potentially promote educational justice – by widening access to quality teaching, decreasing biases, and facilitating mixed ability classes – it also creates concerns, related to ensuring equal distribution of technology, preventing biases in educational data mining, and fostering the kind of social relations between students necessary for democratic equality. The article concludes that whether or not information and communication technologies will have a positive impact on educational justice depends, largely, on the way it is developed, designed, and implemented in schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-320
Number of pages15
JournalTheory and Research in Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/ or publication of this article: This work was supported by the German Israel Foundation (GIF) (Research Grant No. I-2484-103.4/2017).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017.


  • Bias
  • big data
  • discrimination
  • distributive justice
  • educational equality
  • peer effects
  • positional goods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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