In education, the child is often observed as a potential to be shaped and realised. In this article, we analyse the educational program, First Lego League. Surprisingly, its aim is not simply to realise a potential, but to potentialise the child to become unlimited potential. Children should become ‘a force for change’, and they are told that ‘you can be anything, just do it!’. To implement this program, First Lego League develops a transition medium that consists of non-representative, presentational symbols such as play, fun, innovation, dance and discovery. Such a program does not come without costs. Our analysis reveals how negativity is negated, knowledge is devalued and the children’s selfnarratives are decoupled. This could result in children being confronted with paradoxical demands, which are difficult to navigate. Analytically, the article draws on Niklas Luhmann’s systems theory and in particular his concepts of form and medium.
Bibliographical noteEpub ahead of print. Published online: 16 April 2023
- Systems theory
- Form and medium
- Niklas Luhmann