28 SES 11, School Rethinking: Regime of Enunciation, Educational Technology and Ethno-Racial Challenges
Most commonly, the secondary school has been defined from the ‘outside’, e.g. the family or society. These external approaches of the school potentially lead towards the disregard of the particular dynamics of school practices. In this paper, an inside perspective is adopted to explore the specificity of those practices which we call school, using Actor-Network Theory (ANT) as a source of inspiration.
At present, secondary schools are increasingly challenged by the requirements of the current knowledge-based society and successive innovations within the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). In order to meet contemporary requirements, schools are asked to broaden their objectives in the pursuit of self-realization, social integration, active citizenship and employability for their pupils (CERI, 1999; CERI, 2001). Hence, educational reforms are formulated and implemented in a variety of countries (Karseth & Sivesind, 2010; Goetheer & van der Vlugt, 2008; Vlaams Parlement, 2013). At the same time, educational practitioners, parents and academics argue in favour of the school’s restoration, as they make a case for more classical learning contents and didactics. However, both reformers and restorers consider the school primarily as a means towards a certain end (e.g. stimulating self-realization, mastering basic knowledge and skills). As both movements focus solely on the characteristics of the school “from the perspective of its intended purpose or pre-formulated expectations” (Masschelein & Simons, 2013, p.20), the specificity of school practices continues to be ignored.
In order to turn towards the particularity of these practices and inspired by ANT, we conceive of school practices not as inert entities, but as gatherings in which both human and non-human “elements put together are not fixed in shape, do not belong to a larger pre-given list but are constructed at least in part as they are entangled together” (Law, 2004, in Aberton, 2012, p.117). Hence, the school appears as a relational effect, as continually in the making, as “performed in the processes of assembling and maintaining” the interweaving of both humans and non-humans (Fenwick, Edwards & Sawchuck, 2011, p.10). In order to identify the specificity of these school practices – the times, topics and people who actually knit the school – a focus is needed “on the minute negotiations that go on at the points of connection” (Fenwick, Edwards & Sawchuck, 2011, p.10; Latour, 2003). In this paper we study these practices in terms of what Latour calls a regime of enunciation or a mode of existence (2003; 2010; 2013a; 2013b). As Latour (2003; 2010; 2013b) describes science, politics, law and religion as distinct regimes of enunciation, emphasis is laid not on the content of speech, but on the tone characterizing oral and written speech, on the elements at stake when someone is talking within those practices, on the conditions of felicity and infelicity and on the things that are called into existence. By looking at how each regime of enunciation elaborates its own conditions of (in)felicity, or otherwise said, its own criteria of truth and validity, it is expected that the modes of speaking and writing can reveal something about the specificity of school practices. The question then becomes whether a pedagogical regime of enunciation (or mode of existence) can be described by following the circulation of both written and oral speech within school practices.
Aberton, H. (2012). Material enactments of identities and learning practices in everyday community practices: implications for pedagogy. Pedagogy, Culture & Society 20(1), 113-136. Centre for Educational Research and Innovation [CERI]. (1999). Innovating schools. Paris: OECD. CERI. (2001). Schooling for tomorrow. What schools for the future? Paris: OECD. Fenwick, T., Edwards, R., & Sawchuk, P. (2011). Emerging approaches to educational research. Tracing the sociomaterial. Abingdon: Routledge. Goetheer G.J.J., & van der Vlugt, J. (2008). Tijd voor Onderwijs: Eindrapport van de commissie Dijsselbloem in vogelvlucht. Amsterdam/Den Haag: Sdu Uitgevers. Karseth, B. & Sivesind, K. (2010) Conceptualising Curriculum Knowledge within and beyond the National Context, European Journal of Education, 45(1), 103-120. Latour, B. (2003). What if we talked politics a little? Contemporary Political Theory 2, pp.143-164. Latour, B. (2010). The making of law: an ethnography of the conseil d’état. Cambridge: Polity Press. Latour, B. (2013a). An inquiry into modes of existence. An anthropology of the moderns (C. Porter, Trans.). Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Latour, B. (2013b). Rejoicing. Or the torments of religious speech (J. Rose, Trans.). Cambridge: Polity Press. Masschelein, J., & Simons, M. (2013). In defence of the school: a public issue (J. McMartin, Trans.). Leuven: E-ducation, Culture & Society Publishers. Sørensen, E. (2009). The materiality of learning: Technology and knowledge in educational practice. Cambridge: University Press Vlaams Parlement. (2013). Masterplan hervorming S.O. Retrieved December 10, 2013, from http://www.vlaamsparlement.be/vp/pdf/20122013/masterplan_hervorming_so.pdf
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