Actor network theory and special needs education

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Presentation to a staff research meeting of Orthopedagogiek, Department of Pedagogy and Educational Sciences, University of Groningen (7 June 2010).

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  • It would seem that Kuhn managed to ‘discover’ that science flourishes in self-governing communities just at the time that the democratic instincts of American politicians and political commentators insisted on greater public accountability from scientists. As in so many other cases, a sense of ‘community’ emerges among disparate individuals as soon as they face a common foe. To put the point in boldest relief, the construction of science as social served much the same role as earlier constructions of the scientist as individual—only now reflecting the potentially more widespread societal opposition that science faced. In both cases, the uniqueness of science is highlighted as demanding special treatment. (Fuller 2000:70)
  • Actor network theory and special needs education

    1. 1. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 07.06.2010 | 1 Actor-network theory (ant) in education presentation to a research meeting of RUG Orthopedagogiek monday 7 june 2010 Ernst D. Thoutenhoofd
    2. 2. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 7.06.2010 | contents select historiography biographic origins in science and technology studies (STS) key assumptions of actor-network theory actor-network theory in education opening pandora‘s box: the cause(s) of orthopedagogiek towards a postsocial and posthumanist theory of orthopedagogiek
    3. 3. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 7.06.2010 | 3 origins of ant › Ludwik Fleck 1935 the genesis and development of a scientific fact › Thomas S. Kuhn 1962 the structure of scientific revolutions › Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar 1979 laboratory life: the construction of scientific facts › John Law, Michel Callon and Arie Rip 1986 mapping the dynamics of science and technology › Wiebe Bijker 1997 of bicycles, bakelites and bulbs: toward a theory of sociotechnical change
    4. 4. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 7.06.2010 | 4 sts | ant Science is a durable process of heterogeneous engineering in which ―bits and pieces from the social, the technical, the conceptual, and the textual are fitted together, and so converted (or translated) into a set of equally heterogeneous scientific products‖, including facts, knowledge, expertise, and progress. John Law Notes on the theory of the actor-network 1992:381
    5. 5. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 7.06.2010 | 5 origins of ant Ludwik Fleck (1896–1961)
    6. 6. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 7.06.2010 | 6 origins of ant Thomas S. Kuhn Steve Fuller Thomas Kuhn: A philosophical history for our times (2001)
    7. 7. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 7.06.2010 | 7 science as true belief Everything we know […] casts substantial doubt that anything like an intention, idea, proposition, or message could have ever been transmitted intact over any great expanse of time and space. The only thing that prevents this point from having more impact […] is that virtually all theories of progress and rationality presuppose the contrary to be the case. Steve Fuller 2000:28-9
    8. 8. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 7.06.2010 | 8 origins of ant Bruno Latour Centre de Sociologie de l‘innovation, École des Mines
    9. 9. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 7.06.2010 | 9 origins of ant John Law Paul Feyerabend, Wider den Methodenzwang (1975)
    10. 10. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 7.06.2010 | 10 origins of ant Wiebe Bijker Professor of technology and society, University of Maastricht
    11. 11. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 7.06.2010 | 11 ant key assumptions › actants are both human and non-human— our world is a postsocial or sociotechnical construct/assemblage › analyses should be symmetrical  explain human and non-human aspects of phenomena  account for success and failure › networks are inherently heterogeneous › all action involves translation › matters that are presupposed become black-boxed › facts and concerns are inherently political achievements
    12. 12. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 7.06.2010 | 12 examples of ant Steve Fox 2005 points to the ‗thoroughly political‘ technological change in higher education. Claims that learning is always already mediated by its own practices, and that practice communities are distinguished by the style in which they are imagined. Education involves processes of translation, in which techniques and technologies are shaped in accordance with education styles, rather than deterministically diffused.
    13. 13. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 7.06.2010 | 13 examples of ant Steven Ward 1996 examines the historical construction of the concept of self-esteem and its rise to the status of truth. Enough allies (including also pedagogy) are mobilised to forge a network of truth so strong that the concept is accepted as fact. Russel Viner 1999 makes a similar case for stress. Nick Manning 2002 for dangerous and severe personality disorder (DSPD).
    14. 14. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 7.06.2010 | 14 examples of ant Trudy Dehue performs similar analyses in relation to depression 2008 and in relation to ADHD 2010. According to Dehue, ADHD is a pervasive sociotechnical movement in which researchers, companies, providers, teachers, patients and diagnostic instruments all actively participate.
    15. 15. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 7.06.2010 | 15 examples of ant Estrid Sørensen 2007 applies ant to primary education. She proposes that education is ‗wholeheartedly humanist‘ and thereby unable to account for learning materials, classroom layout, technology, or itself. Children are not isolated social beings but already entangled in a socio-material web. In an effort to develop a theory of virtual (online) learning, Sørensen reconstructs educational spaces as spatial imaginaries that involve representational knowledge and presence. In similar vein Martin Lawn and Ian Grosvenor investigated the materialities of school 2005 and education 2009 in the construction of educational knowledge.
    16. 16. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 7.06.2010 | 16 ant in education opening pandora’s box Orthopedagogiek is under-theorised (Baartman et al. 2000). ‗It concerns situations in which upbringing becomes difficult and problematic.‘ While under-theorised, lacking proper instruments and orienting increasingly to the special needs orientation in the anglophone world et cetera, ‗the relevance of an orthopedagogisch perspective on problems in upbringing and development has never been questioned.‘
    17. 17. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 7.06.2010 | ant in education opening pandora’s box But if situations are constituted (and do not naturally arise) as difficult or problematic; then how is a status quo achieved in which orthopedagogiek—in particular given its lack of educational methods and approaches—remains beyond challenge?
    18. 18. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 7.06.2010 | 18 ant in education towards a (ant) theory of orthopedagogiek ant-driven research questions might be formulated: research methods and research approaches: verificatory orthopedagogiek Ian Hacking, making up people psychometric/educational tests and statistical treatments: inferential and instrumental orthopedagogiek Ted Porter, trust in numbers evidence-based education or EBE: good practice orthopedagogiek Stefan Timmermans & Marc Berg, the gold standard interdisciplinary orthopegagogiek; comparative orthopedagogiek…
    19. 19. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 07.06.2010 | 19 end References on next slide
    20. 20. faculteit gedrags- en pedagogische wetenschappen maatschappijwetenschappen en onderwijskunde Datum 7.06.2010 | 20 References Baartman, Herman, Aryan van der Leij and Joop Stolk Latour, Bruno (1988). The Pasteurization of France. Cambridge (eds. 2000) Het perspectief van de orthopedagoog Mass., US: Harvard University Press. English translation of (tweede druk 2001). Houten, Netherlands: Bohn Stafleu (1984) Pasteur, une science, un style, un siècle. Éditions Van Loghum. Perrin, Paris. Bijker, Wiebe (1997) Of bicycles, bakelites and bulbs: Latour, Bruno (2005) Reassembling the social: An introduction Toward a theory of sociotechnical change. Cambridge to actor-network-theory. Oxford, England: Oxford University Mass., US: MIT Press. Press. Callon, Michel, John Law and Arie Rip (eds. 1986) Mapping Latour, Bruno and Steve Woolgar (1979) Laboratory Life: the the dynamics of science and technology: Sociology of Social Construction of Scientific Facts. London, England: Sage. science in the real world. New York, US: Sheridan House. Law, John (1992) Notes on the Theory of the Actor Network: Dehue, Trudy (2008) De depressie-epidemie. Ordering, Strategy and Heterogeneity. Lancaster, UK: Centre Amsterdam, Netherlands: Augustus. for Science Studies, Lancaster University. Dehue, Trudy (2010) De ADHD-beweging, leven in het www.comp.lancs.ac.uk/sociology/papers/Law-Notes-on- tijdperk van het brein. Amsterdam, Netherlands: ANT.pdf Augustus. Law, John (2004) After method: Mess in social science research. Feyerabend, Paul (1975) Against Method: Outline of an London, England: Routledge. Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge. London, England: New Lawn, Martin (ed. 2009) Modelling the future exhibitions and the Left Books. Translated into Dutch (2008) Tegen de materiality of education. Oxford, England: Symposium Books. methode. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Lemniscaat. Lawn, Martin and Ian Grosvenor (eds. 2005) Materialities of Fleck, Ludwik (1979) The Genesis and Development of a schooling: Design, technology, objects, routines. Scientific Fact. Chicago, US: University of Chicago Press. Oxford, England: Symposium Books. English translation of (1935) Entstehung und Entwicklung Manning, Nick (2002) Actor networks, policy networks and einer wissenschaftlichen Tatsache. Einführung in die personality disorder. Sociology of Health & Illness Lehre vom Denkstil und Denkkollektiv. Schwabe und 24(5):644–666. Co., Verlagsbuchhandlung, Basel. Sørensen, Estrid (2009) The materiality of learning: Technology Fox, Steve(2005) An actor-network critique of community and knowledge in educational practice. Cambridge, England: in higher education: implications for networked learning. Cambridge University Press. Studies in Higher Education, 30(1):95–110. Viner, Russel (1999) Putting the stress in life: Hans Selye and Fuller, Steve (2000) Thomas Kuhn: A philosophical history the making of Stress theory. Social Studies of Science for our times. Chicago, US: Chicago University Press. 29(3):391–410. Kuhn, Thomas S. (1970) The structure of scientific Ward, Stephen (1996) Filling the world with self-esteem: A revolutions. Chicago, US: Chicago University Press. social history of truth-making. Canadian Journal of Sociology 21:1–23.

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