Diffraction as an otherwise practice of exploring new teachers’ entanglements in time and space

Lambert, Louise (2021) Diffraction as an otherwise practice of exploring new teachers’ entanglements in time and space. Professional Development in Education. ISSN 1941-5257

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Abstract

In this paper, I propose shifts in perspective and practice in initial teacher education from the reflective to the diffractive practitioner as a productive way of supporting new teachers to prepare for the complex and nonlinear nature of teaching. The reflective practitioner is a figure deeply embedded in humanist and anthropocentric discourses, aligned to standardised outcomes. Accordingly, reflection risks being a fixed, technical exercise that is predominantly cognitive and linear, ignoring the complex, uncertain and affective ways of knowing that emerge within teaching encounters. Here, I use theories from posthumanism to suggest diffraction as an otherwise means to explore teaching as non-linear and materially and affectively entangled through time and space, in ways that are
attentive to difference and the complex world-making of education as an ethically engaged practice. In refusing simplistic, reductionist narratives about teaching, about ‘what works’ and about what it means to ‘be’ a teacher, diffractive practices are responsive to contemporary educational landscapes. I offer an example of thinking and practising diffractively, drawing on data from a creative collaging workshop for new teachers to illustrate how reconfiguration of spatial temporalities and an
attention to entanglements in teaching encounters can offer generative ways to think about professional practice.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/19415257.2021.1884587
Date: 8 February 2021
Uncontrolled Keywords: diffraction, reflection, initial teacher education, posthumanism, affect, intra-action, assemblage, becoming, collage
Subjects: X100 Training Teachers
X300 Academic studies in Education
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Education and Social Work
Depositing User: Louise Lambert
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2021 10:14
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2021 10:14
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10981

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