‘It’s getting me thinking and I’m an old cynic’: exploring the relational dynamics of mathematics teacher change
First Online: 19 August 2010 DOI:
Cite this article as: Boylan, M. J Math Teacher Educ (2010) 13: 383. doi:10.1007/s10857-010-9154-8 Abstract
Actor-network theory is a way of describing and understanding the complexity of social change. This article explores its relevance to understanding teacher change in mathematics education by considering a single teacher change narrative. This is centred on a veteran teacher of mathematics who participated in a teacher led, teacher-educator-supported professional development project. The project had two foci: investigating forms of school-based collaborative professional development in the context of developing a dynamic approach to teaching and learning geometry. Three conceptual tools appropriated or adapted from actor network theory are used to describe and analyse features of this teacher narrative. These are
relationality, translation and fluidity. Some implications are considered for developing accounts of, and actions for, mathematics teacher change. Keywords Mathematics teacher change Mathematics teacher professional development Mathematics teacher education Actor-network theory Collaborative professional development Dynamic geometry software References
Callon, M. (1986). Some elements of a sociology of translation: Domestication of the scallops and the fishermen of St Brieuc Bay. In J. Law (Ed.),
Power, action and belief: A new sociology of knowledge? (pp. 196–223). London: Routledge.
Clarke, D., & Hollingsworth, H. (2002). Elaborating a model of teacher professional growth.
Teaching and Teacher Education,
Davis, B., & Sumara, D. (1997). Cognition, complexity and teacher education.
Harvard Educational Review,
de Laet, M., & Mol, A. (2000). The Zimbabwe bush pump: Mechanics of a fluid technology.
Social Studies of Science,
Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987).
A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Edwards, R. (2009). Authoring research, plagiarising the self? In A. Carter, T. Lillis, & S. Parkin (Eds.),
Why writing matters: Issues of access and identity in writing research and pedagogy (pp. 47–60). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Fernandez, C. (2002). Learning from Japanese approaches to professional development.
Journal of Teacher Education,
Fox, S. (2000). Communities of practice, Foucault and actor-network theory.
Journal of Management Studies,
Guskey, T. (2002). Professional development and teacher change.
Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice,
Guskey, T., & Huberman, M. (1995).
Professional development in education: New paradigms and practices. New York: Teachers College Press.
Hoyles, C. (2010). Creating an inclusive culture in mathematics through subject-specific teacher professional development: A case study from England.
Journal of Mathematics Education and Culture,
Latour, B. (1999). On recalling ANT. In J. Law & J. Hassard (Eds.),
Actor network theory and after (pp. 15–25). London: Blackwell.
Latour, B. (2005).
Reassembling the social: An introduction to actor-network-theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Law, J. (2004).
After method: Mess in social science research. London: Routledge.
Law, J. (2007).
Actor network theory and material semiotics, version of 25th April 2007
. Retrieved from
Lemke, J. (2000). Across the scales of time: Artifacts, activities, and meanings in ecosocial systems.
Mind, Culture and Activity,
Collaborative practice and networking for mathematics CPD: Review of work with pathfinders.
Perillo, S. (2008). Fashioning leadership in schools: An ANT account of leadership in practice.
School Leadership and Management,
Russell, D., & Schneiderheinze, A. (2005). Understanding innovation in education using activity theory.
Educational Technology and Society,
Ruthven, K., Hennessy, S., & Deaney, R. (2008). Constructions of dynamic geometry: A study interpretative flexibility of educational software in classroom practice.
Computers & Education,
CrossRef Copyright information
© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010