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Actor network theory goes to school

conference contribution
posted on 2003-01-01, 00:00 authored by Wendy Warren
Actor Network Theory (ANT) is explored as a useful tool in researching the intersection of English teaching and Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), to understand the complex interaction of influences, both human and non-human, that combine to achieve a particular outcome, in this case the uptake of ICTs by English teachers in an Australian school. What this means is that alongside interviewing the teachers, administrators and technical support people, recognition is given to the influence of inanimate objects such as computers, bluestone walls and curriculum documents. This constructs a more complex picture of the change process accounting both for the invisible ideology of teacher beliefs as well as the technical capacity and incapacity of machines, buildings and policies. At the heart of ANT lies the metaphor of the heterogeneous network which is made up of diverse, not simply human, materials. Often these networks become consolidated as single point actors e.g. the English curriculum, the computer laboratory, the library, which are then seen as fixed entities rather than an amalgamation of parts prone to change. ANT allows for the constituent parts to be investigated, and following Bruno Latour's Aramis, (1996) this can be done creatively by literally giving voice to inanimate objects such as computers.

History

Event

NZARE/AARE Joint Conference (2003 : Auckland, N.Z.)

Pagination

1 - 15

Publisher

[Australian Association for Research in Education]

Location

Auckland, New Zealand

Place of publication

[Coldstream, Vic.]

Start date

2003-11-29

End date

2003-12-03

ISSN

1176-4902

Language

eng

Publication classification

E2 Full written paper - non-refereed / Abstract reviewed

Copyright notice

2003, NZARE/AARE

Editor/Contributor(s)

E van Til

Title of proceedings

NZARE/AARE 2003 : Educational research, risks and dilemmas : New Zealand Association for Research in Education and the Australian Association for Research in Education

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