Sociomaterial theories, including actor–network theory, materialist feminism and posthumanism, are sometimes argued to not be addressing or unable to address sufficiently the political and are therefore dismissed as irrelevant to educational research. Through an extended discussion of writers across the social sciences, this article seeks to counter such a view. Drawing specifically on the work of Latour on the nature of critique and on examples of political analysis from writers such as Barad, Bennett, Braidotti, Marres and Whatmore, we suggest that (...) sociomaterialist approaches to the more-than-human open up extended understandings and productive alternative practices of politics. While recognising that this is a work in progress and not without difficulties and challenges, we argue that there is much to be gained for educational researchers from engaging with such approaches. (shrink)
The question of capacity building in education has predominantly been approached with regard to the methods and methodologies of educational research. Far less attention has been given to capacity building in relation to theory. In many ways the latter is as pressing an issue as the former, given that good research depends on a combination of high quality techniques and high quality theorising. The ability to capitalise on capacity building in relation to methods and methodologies may therefore well be restricted (...) by a lack of attention to theory. In this paper we make a case for capacity building with regard to theory, explore the different roles of theory in educational research, and provide an outline of an agenda for capacity building with regard to theory. (shrink)
This article provides a material enactment of educational theory to explore how we might do educational theory differently by defamiliarising the familiar. Theory is often assumed to be abstract, located solely in the realm of ideas and separate from practice. However, this view of theory emerges from a set of ontological and epistemological assumptions of separating meaning from matter that are taken to be foundational, when this need not be the case. Drawing upon what variously might be termed materialist, performative (...) or post‐human positions, the article suggests that it is possible to re‐enact theory as a matter‐ing practice—of matter and meaning. The assumption of a separation that divides theory from practice is challenged in this article, which suggests that theory matters by being entangled with the material and that a separation of matter from meaning is an effect. This approach enacts things as matters of concern by contrast with the representation of objects as matters of fact. In this way, educational theory becomes a form of responsible experimentation rather than simply a representation of others. Some implications for education are outlined. (shrink)
This paper explores the question of the purpose of education within the context of Lyotardȁ9s framing of the postmodern condition. It points to some of the continuities and discontinuities in the framing of the current condition as postmodern and the recurrent problematics of truth-telling which is the mark of this condition. It suggests that educationally the postmodern condition is marked by lifelong learning, a constant apprenticeship rather than mastery, where in language stutters.
Now that learning is seen as lifelong and lifewide, what specifically makes a learning context? What are the resultant consequences for teaching practices when working in specific contexts? Drawing upon a variety of academic disciplines, Rethinking Contexts for Learning and Teaching explores some of the different means of understanding teaching and learning, both in and across contexts, the issues they raise and their implications for pedagogy and research. It specifically addresses What constitutes a context for learning? How do we engage (...) the full resources of learners for learning? What are the relationships between different learning contexts? What forms of teaching can most effectively mobilise learning across contexts? How do we methodologically and theoretically conceptualise contexts for learning? Drawing upon practical examples and the UK’s TLRP, this book brings together a number of leading researchers to examine the assumptions about context embedded within specific teaching and learning practices. It considers how they might be developed to extend opportunity by drawing upon learning from a range of contexts, including schools, colleges, universities and workplaces. (shrink)
Educational analysts need new ways to engage with policy processes in a networked world of complex transnational connections. In this discussion, Tara Fenwick and Richard Edwards argue for a greater focus on materiality in educational policy as a way to trace the heterogeneous interactions and precarious linkages that enact policy as complex manifestations. In particular, Fenwick and Edwards point to the methodologies of actor-network theory (ANT), at least in its most recent permutations, as a useful approach to materiality in policy (...) analysis. Published examples of educational policy studies drawing from these methodologies are beginning to appear. In reviewing these, we argue that ANT sensibilities help to make visible the sociomaterial assemblages—the “messy objects”—that enact policy, the micro-negotiations that mobilize and stabilize (and destabilize) these assemblages, and the multiple ontologies that often coexist in policy environments. Fenwick and Edwards conclude with a discussion of methodological issues for working with concepts of ontological variance and messy objects in educational policy. (shrink)
Democratic deliberation places the burden of self‐governance on its citizens to provide mutual justifying reasons. This article concerns the limiting effect that group identity has on the efficacy of democratic deliberation for equality in education. Under conditions of a powerful majority, deliberation can be repressive and discriminatory. Issues of white flight and race‐based admissions serve to illustrate the bias of which deliberation is capable when it fails to substantively take group identity into account. As forms of Gilbert's plural subjects, identity (...) group members holding the group identity can experience agency as the freedom to believe together with members of their group. I argue that attending to how group members acquire group beliefs through trust is a reasonable accommodation of group identity in deliberation. (shrink)
With different pedagogic practices come different ways of examining them and fresh understandings of their implications and assumptions. It is the examination of these changes and developments that is the subject of this book. The authors examine a number of questions posed by the rapid march of globalisation, incuding: What is the role of the teacher, and how do we teach in the context of globalisation? What curriculum is appropriate when people and ideas become more mobile? How do the technologies (...) of the internet and mobile phone impact upon what is learnt and by whom? The second edition of this important book has been fully updated and extended to take account of developments in technology, pedagogy and practice, in particular the growth of distance and e-learning. (shrink)
Drawing upon concepts from actor-network theory (ANT), this article explores how the principle of symmetry can provide alternative readings of the translations of the prescribed into the enacted curriculum, without reducing understanding to explanation. The paper explores the contrasting ways in which the prescribed curriculum is translated into the enacted curriculum as certain organisations, individuals and artefacts become enrolled through networks of school and college. It points to the ways in which a position which eschews conventional distinctions e.g. between the (...) human and non-human, and enacts an anti-foundationalist ontology provides the basis for a radical materialist understanding of the multiplicity of educational practices. (shrink)
Outpatient services are increasingly recognised as an important component of health care provision and may be improved through the application of modern management techniques. We have performed a time and role audit of consultation and waiting times in two medical clinics using different queuing systems: namely, a serial processing clinic where patients wait in a single queue and a quasi-parallel processing clinic where patients are directed to the shortest queue to maintain clinic flow. Data collected were used to construct a (...) computer simulation of patient flows in clinic. Assessment of patient satisfaction in the clinic process was determined using a self-administered questionnaire. Mean waiting time was shorter in the quasi-parallel processing clinic: 26 (SD 17) minutes compared with 36(24) minutes in the serial processing clinic. In the serial processing clinic 61% of patients waited more than 30 minutes compared with 41% in the quasi-parallel processing clinic. In the serial processing clinic 8% of 142 patients surveyed complained of the time spent waiting. The computer simulation we produced was able to determine waiting times with different clinic structures. The simulation showed that reductions in waiting time up to 30% might be achieved by changing our serial processing clinic to a quasi-parallel processing one. Performance of medical outpatient clinics can be improved by examining and changing clinic management. Computer simulation of outpatient clinics offers a means of assessing the impact of such changes on waiting time in clinic and on waiting lists. (shrink)
_Researching Education Through Actor-Network Theory_ offers a new take on educational research, demonstrating the ways in which actor-network theory can expand the understanding of educational change. An international collaboration exploring diverse manifestations of educational change Illustrates the impact of actor-network theory on educational research Positions education as a key area where actor-network theory can add value, as it has been shown to do in other social sciences A valuable resource for anyone interested in the sociology and philosophy of education.
In this article the authors discuss the decision of the House of Lords in Adam, Limbuela and Tesema, where the judges gave detailed scrutiny to the support duty s.55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 towards those who are seeking asylum and considered the approach to be adopted in determining whether there was an incompatibility with Art.3 of the European Convention on Human Rights if support was denied.
This article critiques certain notions of a learning society. These are framed largely in economic and humanist frameworks of competitiveness and social exclusion. This overlooks the implications of information, communications and media technologies, and the linguistic turn in social theory. These suggest a learning society can be framed as a 'society of signs'. Some of the possible implications of the latter are outlined.