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Experimenting with norms: participatory engagement in social science education
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Education.
2018 (English)In: Educational Research: Boundaries, Breaches and Bridges, 2018, p. 496-496Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this paper I will present an on-going research project that aims at exploring teaching in social science in a Swedish upper secondary school. The focus is on teaching about norms, identity and categorizations as parts of the syllabus. How can the teaching afford to experiment with and challenge dominating and excluding norms and categorizations? With a sociomaterial approach, the experimenting with norms includes the vital doings of materialities, discourses and affectivity where relations and entanglements of students, teacher, researcher, classroom and content are considered. Working with the theoretical notions of performativity and figurations makes it possible to acknowledge how the complex interweaving of power-relations stabilizes and destabilizes differential boundaries and categories.

To explore a practice within a sociomaterial approach implies to do something and being involved. There is no autonomous researcher observing what is happening in the practice. Research becomes a relational experiment with messy and fluid co-becomings of both researcher, teacher, students and the teaching practice. Therefore, in the project I will work with a research methodology of participatory engagement or collaborative ethnography. For doing this I turn to experimentation and intervention to embrace the distributed and collective matters that the sociomaterial approach offers. This approach situates experimentation into arrangements of relations, interference and involvement where preset goals or standards become difficult to handle. Together with one teacher, students in two classes and non-human participants I will engage in the teaching for six weeks. This means to be part of the planning and preparation of the teaching as well as the actual teaching and its different assignments, writings and discussions.

The analytical ambition is to bring the bodily dimension of the practice into play and to disclose how discourses, materialities and affectivity jointly participate and produce specific versions of norms andcategorizations. This raises question about how to encounter issues about gender, heterosexuality, whiteness, functionality without reproducing excluding norms, how to contest power structures producing privileged positions. Furthermore, questions about gender and racial discrimination and how school spaces, environment and organization are part of this.

Working with these issues are difficult and risky – so many black holes and traps to fall into. What will happen within the experimentation in the teaching practice is impossible to predict or to prepare for. Here, the practice become constituted by sociomaterial relations where human intentions and actions alone cannot regulate it. Within collaboration, to articulate shared problems or troubles, slow downand experiment is a possible but risky business. The ambition for the project is to experiment together with the human and non-human actors in order to explore possibilities to challenge (re)productions of norms and categorizations. To continuously ask how to produce movements and tensions with the potential to set boundaries and categorizations into motion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. p. 496-496
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Subject Learning and Teaching
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-154120OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-154120DiVA, id: diva2:1190773
Conference
The 46th Congress of the Nordic Educational Research Association (NERA), Oslo, Norway, March 8-10, 2018
Available from: 2018-03-15 Created: 2018-03-15 Last updated: 2018-03-20Bibliographically approved

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