The Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer

As described in The Diamond Age, the Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer (often just called “The Primer”) is a fictional electronic book which facilitates the remote, asynchronous education of children. Its curriculum includes practical skills like math and reading, principally via Inquiry-based learning, but The Primer’s goal is to produce creative, subversive youth.

For many in educational technology, the Primer represents an inspiring vision for a future of education:

Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s a viable vision: The Primer isn’t a viable enabling environment.


Stephenson, N. (2003). The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer (Reprint edition). Spectra.

Last updated 2023-08-03.