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Cambridge University Kaleidoscope Conference (May 2019) – educator/research conference, presentation of findings: A socio-material understanding of the formation of teachers' professional knowledge

Unsworth, Ruth ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4900-3590 (2019) Cambridge University Kaleidoscope Conference (May 2019) – educator/research conference, presentation of findings: A socio-material understanding of the formation of teachers' professional knowledge. In: Cambridge University Kaleidoscope Conference, May/June 2019, University of Cambridge.

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Cambridge Kaleidoscope conference 2019.pptx - Accepted Version

Abstract

This paper explores teachers’ professional knowledge and action as constructions resulting from complex socio-material interactions. Taking an actor-network theory approach to the analysis of data constructed through observations and semi-structured interviews conducted in a primary school in the north of England, this paper foregrounds the interplay of human and non-human actors in tracing the actors involved in ‘performing into being’ (Latour 2005) professional knowledge and action. Situated within a wider study of the formation of teacher professionalism, this paper explores the influence of texts used and created by practitioners on the formation of professional knowledge and action. Drawing on theories of literacy as social practice (Barton, 2017), the interactions between teachers and networks of texts are presented as shaping collaborative negotiations of professional knowledge. The power of these text-teacher networks as part of this inter-relational formation of professional knowledge and action is traced through ethnographic observations of moments of the creation of new texts, highlighting inter-textual hierarchies and the translation of policy/theory into context-based professional knowledge and practice. Emerging from this perspective is an argument for greater consideration, both in terms of political as well as theoretical contexts, of the mediating role of texts within the formation of teacher professionalism. Scripted definitions of teachers professionalism are problematised and it is posited that professionalism is instead best understood and developed from a view centred within its socio-material formation.

Barton, D., 2017. Literacy: An introduction to the ecology of written language, John Wiley & Sons.
Latour, B., 2005. Reassembling the social: An introduction to actor-network-theory, Oxford university press.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Published
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
L Education > LB1705-2286 Education and training of teachers
School/Department: School of Education, Language and Psychology
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/5646

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