Table of Contents

Educational Philosophy and Theory Special Issue Book Series

Series Editor: Michael A. Peters

The Educational Philosophy and Theory journal publishes articles concerned with all aspects of educational philosophy. Their themed special issues are also available to buy in book format and cover subjects ranging from curriculum theory, educational administration, the politics of education, educational history, educational policy, and higher education.

Titles in the series include:

Researching Education Through Actor-Network Theory

Edited by Tara Fenwick and Richard Edwards

The Power In/Of Language

Edited by David R. Cole & Linda J. Graham

Educational Neuroscience: Initiatives and Emerging Issues

Edited by Kathryn E. Patten and Stephen R. Campbell

Rancière, Public Education and the Taming of Democracy

Edited by Maarten Simons and Jan Masschelein

Thinking Education Through Alain Badiou

Edited by Kent den Heyer

Toleration, Respect and Recognition in Education

Edited by Mitja Sardox10D_TimesNewRomanPSMT_10n_2273534

Gramsci and Educational Thought

Edited by Peter Mayo

Patriotism and Citizenship Education

Edited by Bruce Haynes

Exploring Education Through Phenomenology: Diverse Approaches

Edited by Gloria Dall’Alba

Academic Writing, Philosophy and Genre

Edited by Michael A. Peters

Complexity Theory and the Philosophy of Education

Edited by Mark Mason

Critical Thinking and Learning

Edited by Mark Mason

Philosophy of Early Childhood Education: Transforming Narratives

Edited by Sandy Farquhar and Peter Fitzsimons

The Learning Society from the Perspective of Governmentality

Edited by Jan Masschelein, Maarten Simons, Ulrich Bröckling and Ludwig Pongratz

Citizenship, Inclusion and Democracy: A Symposium on Iris Marion Young

Edited by Mitja Sardoc

Postfoundationalist Themes In The Philosophy of Education: Festschrift for James D. Marshall

Edited by Paul Smeyers and Michael A. Peters

Music Education for the New Millennium: Theory and Practice Futures for Music Teaching and Learning

Edited by David Lines

Critical Pedagogy and Race

Edited by Zeus Leonardo

Derrida, Deconstruction and Education: Ethics of Pedagogy and Research

Edited by Peter Pericles Trifonas and Michael A. Peters

Title page

Notes on Contributors

Richard Edwards is Professor of Education and Head of the School of Education, University of Stirling. His published work has focused on issues of spatiality and materiality in education, curriculum and literacy, educational policy, and lifelong learning more broadly. Email:

Tara Fenwick is Professor of Professional Education at the School of Education, University of Stirling. Her research currently focuses on professional knowledge, practice and education in the workplace, with particular interest in sociomaterial theory. She has published widely in theories of workplace learning. Email:

Radhika Gorur is a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Her research interests include education policy, evidence-based policy, and material semiotic theories. She is particularly interested in following the practices of measurement of performance and equity in education. Email: .

Mary Hamilton is Professor of Adult Learning and Literacy in the Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University, UK and Associate Director of the Lancaster Literacy Research Centre. She researches, publishes and teaches in the field of Literacy Studies, discourse, policy and change. Email:

Dianne Mulcahy is a Senior Lecturer in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. Her published work in Education concerns policy and political issues surrounding educators’ professional formation and development. Her recent research activity has centred on capturing the complexity of educators’ professional learning, with particular attention to the materiality of this learning. Email:

Jan Nespor is a professor at The Ohio State University. An educational anthropologist, he has published works on curriculum and learning in higher education, urban elementary schooling, the politics of computer-mediated instruction in universities, qualitative methodology, and other topics. Email:


Actor-network theory (ANT) insists on forms of nonhuman agency and focuses on how networks get formed. As a form of material-semiotics, it emerges in science studies and is faithful to the ethnomethodological school and consonant with poststructuralist and constructivist commitments. It is particularly useful in analyzing large technical systems. Already there is enough in this brief encapsulated description to challenge the ontological commitments and epistemological orientations of most social science approaches and to recommend the adoption of the approach to educationalists. Tracing its origin meanings to Diderot Bruno Latour (1998) writes: ‘Put too simply ANT is a change of metaphors to describe essences: instead of surfaces one gets filaments (or rhyzomes in Deleuze’s parlance) (Deleuze and Guattari, 1980). More precisely it is a change of topology. Instead of thinking in terms of surfaces—two dimension—or spheres—three dimension—one is asked to think in terms of nodes that have as many dimensions as they have connections’.

In Researching Education Through Actor-Network Theory, Tara Fenwick and Richard Edwards both renew and reclaim actor-network theory for educational research demonstrating its potential and power in a series of related papers selected and edited for their insights into educational processes. This is an authoritative collection by experts in the field who as editors and contributors provide the basis for a good understanding and application of actor-network theory in educational research.

Michael A. Peters

University of Waikato, NZ


See “On actor network theory: A few clarifications” at .