School educational practices are a complex tangle of social and material elements. Nevertheless, educational researches in schools consider objects and artefacts as mere and largely passive tools at the service of human aims. Often scholars focus on the relationship between teacher and student, teaching methods, classroom discourse analysis, features and quality of student learnings, learning outcomes, curriculum of studies. Whereas the material elements that, together with the human subjects daily perform the school practice remain as an inert background to which it doesn't seem necessary to give a properly pedagogic attention. From this perspective the educational action runs the risk of becoming a matter concerning and involving human subjects exclusively. Also school change and innovation processes risk to be reduced to the mere learning of how to employ teaching techniques, or at most, as "ready to use tools" like when new technologies are adopted. This reflects the common view that teaching is an innate quality or a property of an individual teacher. The agency or the ability to act - making a difference - remains a characteristic of the human being only.Purpose of the article is to address these issues by adopting a sociomaterial stance that focuses on how materiality performs in everyday school practices. In particular, the paper will illustrate, through some examples from the outcomes of an empirical research conducted in a North Italian Waldorf School with the Actor-Network Theories (ANT), how human and non-human elements (artefacts, discourses, times, procedures, bodies, symbols, students and teachers) weaved together enact educational practices and what we call "school". From an epistemological and methodological point of view this theoretical research sensitivity allows a more articulated, complete and accurate description of the educational practices and of the scholastic context. In particular, it allows to explore and take into consideration the role of the artefacts and of the objects, considering them as protagonist of the educational setting. We will see how, through translation and delegation processes, objects co-build, with people, specific actions and meanings. What is the effect of considering artefacts, mundane objects, technologies and furniture as not secondary characters of educational practices? What happens if the researcher tries "to follow the objects" tracing the connections and the aggregates of human and non-human elements? The metaphor of the Actor-network, suggested by the ANT approach, allows to think about the school and the educational practices from a still not too explored point of view: they become the result of sociomaterial tangles, grids of differently stable bonds, processes to be disentangled.

"Follow the objects”: an Actor-Network Theory account of materiality in a North Italian Waldorf School Practices / C. Barbanti (ICERI PROCEEDINGS). - In: ICERI2019 : Proceedings / [a cura di] L. Gómez Chova, A. López Martínez, I. Candel Torres. - [s.l] : IATED Academy, 2019. - ISBN 978-84-09-14755-7. - pp. 6569-6577 (( Intervento presentato al 12. convegno Annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation tenutosi a Seville nel 2019 [10.21125/iceri.2019.1576].

"Follow the objects”: an Actor-Network Theory account of materiality in a North Italian Waldorf School Practices

C. Barbanti
2019

Abstract

School educational practices are a complex tangle of social and material elements. Nevertheless, educational researches in schools consider objects and artefacts as mere and largely passive tools at the service of human aims. Often scholars focus on the relationship between teacher and student, teaching methods, classroom discourse analysis, features and quality of student learnings, learning outcomes, curriculum of studies. Whereas the material elements that, together with the human subjects daily perform the school practice remain as an inert background to which it doesn't seem necessary to give a properly pedagogic attention. From this perspective the educational action runs the risk of becoming a matter concerning and involving human subjects exclusively. Also school change and innovation processes risk to be reduced to the mere learning of how to employ teaching techniques, or at most, as "ready to use tools" like when new technologies are adopted. This reflects the common view that teaching is an innate quality or a property of an individual teacher. The agency or the ability to act - making a difference - remains a characteristic of the human being only.Purpose of the article is to address these issues by adopting a sociomaterial stance that focuses on how materiality performs in everyday school practices. In particular, the paper will illustrate, through some examples from the outcomes of an empirical research conducted in a North Italian Waldorf School with the Actor-Network Theories (ANT), how human and non-human elements (artefacts, discourses, times, procedures, bodies, symbols, students and teachers) weaved together enact educational practices and what we call "school". From an epistemological and methodological point of view this theoretical research sensitivity allows a more articulated, complete and accurate description of the educational practices and of the scholastic context. In particular, it allows to explore and take into consideration the role of the artefacts and of the objects, considering them as protagonist of the educational setting. We will see how, through translation and delegation processes, objects co-build, with people, specific actions and meanings. What is the effect of considering artefacts, mundane objects, technologies and furniture as not secondary characters of educational practices? What happens if the researcher tries "to follow the objects" tracing the connections and the aggregates of human and non-human elements? The metaphor of the Actor-network, suggested by the ANT approach, allows to think about the school and the educational practices from a still not too explored point of view: they become the result of sociomaterial tangles, grids of differently stable bonds, processes to be disentangled.
sociomaterial approach; Actor-Network Theory; Materiality of education; Educational practices; Waldorf school; Artefacts, Objects
Settore M-PED/01 - Pedagogia Generale e Sociale
Book Part (author)
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/943347
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
social impact