Advertisement

Putting Posthuman Theories to Work in Educational Leadership Programmes

  • Kathryn J. StromEmail author
  • John Lupinacci
Chapter

Abstract

Educators are socialized into ‘commonsense’ ways of seeing the world that support rational, humanistic, anthropocentric thinking. The U.S. schooling system further reinforces these perspectives by defining education in quantitative terms, turning teachers, students, and learning processes into numerical data points. These perspectives tend to shape educational leaders’ understandings of leadership and research. As they enter professional doctorate, or three year Ed.D. programmes, many educational leaders bring with them entrenched views of objectivity and linearity, as well as a view of leadership as enacted by individual human actors. This chapter discusses ways to disrupt commonsense thinking reinforcing individualistic, representational, and human-centered worldviews by drawing on pedagogies informed by posthuman thinkers (including Braidotti 2013; Code 2006; Deleuze and Guattari 1987; Plumwood 2002) to reframe practice and educational research in more affirmative, connected, multiplistic terms that emphasise productive difference and relations with the more-than-human world. Both authors teach courses in three-year professional doctorate programmes in educational leadership, and provide examples of instruction that put to work these ideas in our classes. The chapter concludes with suggestions and connections for (re)imagining how such pedagogical projects may be useful to other educators in higher education settings.

Keywords

Critical posthumanism Ecocritical pedagogy Educational leadership Ed.D. programmes Politics of location 

References

  1. Amster, R., DeLeon, A., Fernandez, L., Nocella, A. J., II, & Shannon, D. (Eds.). (2009). Contemporary anarchist studies: An introductory anthology of anarchy in the academy. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. ​Bennett, J. (2009). Vibrant matter: A political ecology of things. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Best, S. (2009). The rise of critical animal studies: Putting theory into action and animal liberation into higher education. Journal for Critical Animal Studies, 7(1), 9–52.Google Scholar
  4. Bradshaw, G. A., Schore, A. N., Brown, J. L., Poole, J. H., & Moss, C. J. (2005). Elephant breakdown: Social trauma: Early disruption of attachment can affect the physiology, behaviour and culture of animals and humans over generations. Nature, 433, 807.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Braidotti, R. (1994). Nomadic subjects: Embodiment and sexual difference in contemporary feminist theory. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Braidotti, R. (2011). Nomadic theory: The portable Rosi Braidotti. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Braidotti, R. (2013). The posthuman. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  8. Braidotti, R. (2017, August). The posthuman condition. Presentation at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  9. Braidotti, R. (2018). Affirmative ethics, posthuman subjectivity, and intimate scholarship: A conversation with Rosi Braidotti. In K. Strom, T. Mills, & A. Ovens (Eds.), Decentering the researcher in intimate scholarship: Critical posthuman methodological perspectives. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  10. Code, L. (2006). Ecological thinking: The politics of epistemic location. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia (B. Massumi, Trans.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  12. Foucault, M. (2010). What is enlightenment? (C. Porter, Trans.). In P. Rabinow (Ed.), The Foucault reader (pp. 32–50). New York, NY: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  13. Haraway, D. J. (1988). Situated knowledges: The science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective. Feminist Studies, 14(3), 575–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Haraway, D. J. (2016). Staying with the trouble: Making kin in the Chthulucene. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kenward, B., Rutz, C., Weir, A., & Kacelnik, A. (2006). Development of tool use in new Caledonian crows: Inherited action patterns and social influence. Animal Behaviour, 72, 1329–1343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the social: An introduction to actor-network-theory. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Lupinacci, J., & Happel-Parkins, A. (2015). Recognize, resist, and reconstitute: An ecocritical framework in teacher education. The SoJo Journal: Educational Foundations and Social Justice Education, 1(1), 45–61.Google Scholar
  18. Lupinacci, J., & Happel-Parkins, A. (2017). Ecocritically (re)considering STEM: Integrated ecological inquiry in teacher education. Issues in Teacher Education, 26(3), 52–64.Google Scholar
  19. Lupinacci J., & Lupinacci Ward, M. (2017). (Re)imaginings of “community”: Perceptions of (dis)ability, the environment, and inclusion. In A. J. Nocella II, A. George, J. L. Schatz, & S. Taylor (Eds.), Weaving nature, animals and disability for social justice: From theory to experience in eco-ability (pp. 63–78). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  20. Nocella, A. J., II, White, R. J., & Cudworth, E. (2015). Anarchism and animal liberation: Essays on complementary elements of total liberation. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.Google Scholar
  21. Plumwood, V. (1993). Feminism and the mastery of nature. London, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Plumwood, V. (2002). Environmental culture: The ecological crisis of reason. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  23. Quinn, D. (1995). Ishmael. New York, NY: Bantam.Google Scholar
  24. Rich, A. (1984). Notes towards a politics of location. In R. Lewis & S. Mills (Eds.), Feminist postcolonial theory: A reader (pp. 29–42). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Strom, K. J. (2018). “That’s not very Deleuzian”: Thoughts on interrupting the exclusionary nature of “high theory”. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 50(1), 104–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Strom, K. J., & Martin, A. D. (2013). Putting philosophy to work in the classroom: Using rhizomatics to deterritorialize neoliberal thought and practice. Studying Teacher Education, 9(3), 219–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Strom, K. J., & Martin, A. D. (2017). Thinking with theory in an era of trump. Issues in Teacher Education, 26(3), 3–22.Google Scholar
  28. Taylor, C. (2016). Edu-crafting a cacophonous ecology: Posthumanist research practices for education. In C. Taylor & C. Hughes (Eds.), Posthuman research practices in education (pp. 5–14). London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  29. Twine, R. (2010). Animals as biotechnology: Ethics, sustainability and critical animal studies. New York, NY: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Warren, K. (1990). The power and the promise of ecological feminism. Environmental Ethics, 12(2), 125–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Warren, K. (2000). Ecofeminist philosophy: A Western perspective on what it is and why it matters. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  33. World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF). (2017). Threats to African elephants. WWF Global. Retrieved from http://wwf.panda.org/knowledge_hub/endangered_species/elephants/african_elephants/afelephants_threats/.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Educational Leadership DepartmentCalifornia State University, East BayHaywardUSA
  2. 2.Washington State UniversityPullmanUSA

Personalised recommendations