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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Considering materiality in educational policy: messy objects and multiple reals
Author(s): Fenwick, Tara
Edwards, Richard
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Keywords: educational policy
actor network theory
multiple ontologies
Curriculum planning Cross-cultural studies
Actor-network theory
Education Philosophy
Issue Date: Dec-2011
Date Deposited: 13-Feb-2012
Citation: Fenwick T & Edwards R (2011) Considering materiality in educational policy: messy objects and multiple reals. Educational Theory, 61 (6), pp. 709-726.
Abstract: Educational analysts need new ways to engage with policy processes in a networked world of complex transnational connections. In this discussion, we 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, we point to the methodologies of actor-network theory, 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 socio-material assemblages – the ‘messy objects’ – that enact policy, the micro-negotiations that mobilize and stabilize (and de-stabilize) these assemblages, and the multiple ontologies that often co-exist in policy environments. We conclude with a discussion of methodological issues for working with concepts of ontological variance and messy objects in educational policy.
DOI Link: 10.1111/j.1741-5446.2011.00429.x
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