DISCUSSING SCIENCE: poststructuralist sessions at NERA were packed!

Riikka, Antti, Tuure and Kristiina attended the Nordic Educational Research Association’s Annual Meeting in Helsinki, March 9.-11. To our delight all of the sessions of ‘Poststructuralist pedagogical research’ were full to the brim!
http://blogs.helsinki.fi/nera-2016/files/2016/02/NERA2016_Programme.pdf

SAND members’ papers at NERA included:

Riikka Hohti: The eagle – moving across categories and zooming in complex and tiny injustices

ABSTRACT: New materialist educational research is committed to embracing the particular, the accidental and the complex. Following Deleuze, it works through experimentation, and avoids explaining, representing or interpreting against categories and societal structures. Following Barad, it illuminates differences as they emerge.

Approaching justice and education as a new materialist researcher, I ask: What are we able to say without pre-set categories as the starting point? If we leave the belief that emancipation follows recognition of structures (Edwards & Fenwick 2014)? How exactly are we making a difference, if category difference is something we want to avoid?

In my doctoral study I have, as a teacher-researcher, been exploring everyday educational events in a Finnish elementary school class. In the analysis I have engaged with observations, stories and writings made by 10-year-old children in their own class, seeking for non-representational and non-hierarchical approaches through different kinds of writing strategies.

In this presentation I activate the working metaphor of the eagle when imagining the potentialities of a new materialist approach to justice in education. An eagle flies freely across and over any territories. It is restless and careless at the same time, it obeys no borders, but blurs them, yet is focused at the same time. The researcher as an eagle is ready to zoom in into specific and unique events in their full complexity, which is only possible through a personal engagement. The encounter is particular and local, but has open-ended and far-reaching connections without a closure.

Here, I present an experiment on how to zoom in the specific and complex injustices in an event between a particular pupil, the discourse of a problem child, the staff of the school, the teacher, and the material participants (such as the forms that have to be filled and that are discussed in an interprofessional meeting in the child psychiatric hospital). I employ Haraway’s feminist narrative strategy ‘bag lady storytelling’, a method described by her similar to the practice of ‘putting unexpected partners and irreducible details into a frayed, porous carrier bag’ (2004b, p. 127), to retell this situation and to zoom in into its ethical and material entanglements.

Tuure Tammi & Antti Rajala: Fostering deliberative communication in democratic classroom meetings
Antti Paakkari: Snapchat – The Burden of Representation

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