Place-people-practice-process: using sociomateriality in university physical spaces research

Acton, Renae (2017) Place-people-practice-process: using sociomateriality in university physical spaces research. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 49 (14). pp. 1441-1451.

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Abstract

Pedagogy is an inherently spatial practice. Implicit in much of the rhetoric of physical space designed for teaching and learning is an ontological position that assumes material space as distinct from human practice, often conceptualising space as causally (and simplistically) impacting upon people's behaviours. An alternative, and growing, perspective instead theorises infrastructure as a sociomaterial assemblage, an entanglement, with scholarly learning, teaching, institutional agendas, architectural intent, technology, staff, students, pedagogic outcomes, and built form all participants in an active symbiosis of becoming. This article synthesises and works with spatial theories to elaborate on the emergent literature and illustrates a sociomaterial understanding through narratives of self and staff, teaching and learning in a university context. The terms sociomaterial, assemblage and entanglement allude to a relational ontology underlying spatial-social being-becoming. This understanding can support the realisation of the intent underlying transformations of material spaces to create collaborative and inclusive university environments, where staff and students can learn, belong, and become as part of a scholarly community. I argue that sociomaterial theory is valuable to make meaning of the inseparable mélange of people, place, technologies, interaction, discourse, feeling, value and power that is teaching and learning.

Item ID: 52497
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1469-5812
Keywords: sociomaterialty; higher education; learning spaces; pedagogy
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Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2018 03:23
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education @ 50%
13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development @ 50%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9304 School/Institution > 930402 School/Institution Community and Environment @ 100%
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