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Lesson enactments: maintenance in everyday educational practice
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Faculty of Education and Business Studies, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5079-3067
2024 (English)In: Postdigital Science and Education, ISSN 2524-485X, Vol. 6, p. 595-609Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores lesson enactments as co-constitutive of human-technology relationality in everyday schooling, rather than neutral backdrops for educational activities. In doing so, the article introduces maintenance as its key concept, drawing on insights from maintenance studies and actor-network theory (ANT). Being both theoretically and empirically informed, maintenance means reconsidering lessons, and digital technologies, as part of lively and vulnerable objects achieved in sociomaterial practices and not merely stable in function and use. The empirical case of lesson enactments comes from fieldwork with an upper secondary school in Sweden during Covid-19. The article analyses situations of maintenance with online class calls and scheduling meetings. Herein, lessons turn into a topic of concern and mechanisms of maintenance enact educational order and prevent disorder. The article demonstrates how putting maintenance to work articulates and identifies so far neglected and mundane practices with digital technology in education. In light of this, the article argues for recognising maintenance in educational practice as too long overshadowed by use, reinforced by a persistent user-technology dichotomy. Finally, the article discusses how maintenance invites reconsiderations of the dominant before-after debate that the Covid-19 pandemic attracts and calls attention to the mundane maintenance of lessons regardless of breakdowns.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2024. Vol. 6, p. 595-609
Keywords [en]
Actor-network theory, Covid-19, Digital technology, Lessons, Maintenance, Teaching
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-207704DOI: 10.1007/s42438-023-00401-zScopus ID: 2-s2.0-85152776014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-207704DiVA, id: diva2:1753642
Available from: 2023-04-28 Created: 2023-04-28 Last updated: 2024-05-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Maintaining teaching: exploring te(a)ch-abilities with actor-network theory
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Maintaining teaching: exploring te(a)ch-abilities with actor-network theory
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Att ta hand om undervisning : en aktörnätverksstudie av digital teknik i pandemins skolvardag
Abstract [en]

The thesis investigates everyday teaching with digital technology during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. The pandemic was one of the world’s largest disruptions to everyday education with both health and education at stake. With the pandemic control measures affecting upper secondary education in Sweden, gathering in the classroom cannot be taken for granted and digital technologies accelerated and intensified everyday practices. The aim is to explore the relation of teaching and digital technology. How can we understand the ways in which digital technology and teaching become jointly experimented with to cope with pandemic uncertainty?

With an Actor-Network theory (ANT) approach, the thesis puts emphasis on how everyday teaching holds together at the pandemic intersection of routine and breakdown. The everyday teaching practices during the pandemic is an empirical focal point for inquiry into how they become enacted and, secondly, what the implications are for knowledge production when examining this novel educational practice with ANT’s relational materialism. To answer these questions, ethnographic methods are used with an upper secondary school in Sweden from May 2020 to June 2021. The fieldwork consists of empirical engagements in school visits, interviews, and online observations. In line with recent ANT scholarship, the methodological approach is articulated as a care-ful methodology. It implies tracing vulnerable and stable relations that enact sociomaterial practice and acknowledging cuts and becoming.

The results show how a manifold of more-than-digital practices enact everyday teaching. The included studies in the thesis examine attendability and mundane rituals, lesson enactments of scheduling practices, and digital platforms that co-produce specific practices while obscuring others. Teaching in the pandemic challenges taken-for-granted notions of a rapid transition to distance and online teaching. By surfacing neglected aspects of everyday teaching with digital technology the thesis discusses how ‘digitalisation of teaching’ erases the local work of everyday teaching as an equipped practice. In conclusion, the proposal is made that maintaining teaching takes into account the materiality, abilities, care, and vulnerabilities that enact everyday teaching.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2024. p. 107
Series
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 0281-6768 ; 135
Keywords
teaching, Covid-19, digital technology, ethnography, digital platforms, upper secondary education, attendance, maintenance, actor-network theory, care, science and technology studies
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-224628 (URN)978-91-8070-415-1 (ISBN)978-91-8070-414-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2024-06-14, Stora Jadwiga, Gävle, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-05-24 Created: 2024-05-21 Last updated: 2024-05-23Bibliographically approved

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Mörtsell, Sara

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf