Cathrine Hasse

Research as relational agency: expert ethnographers and the cultural force of technologies

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingBook chapter

Studying the impact of educational technologies ‘in the wild’ put new demands on researchers than when researchers are conducting experiments in a laboratory. When researchers work within institutional boundaries they cannot take for granted that all members engaged in institutional work share the same conception of material artefacts, which are non-human in the sense that they are not just material but agentic and persuasive like humans. Local conceptualisations of artefacts must be explored as the researchers develop relational agency with the different local people involved. New educational technologies like iPads are not just educational tools helping teachers teach as books, blackboards and chalk. They are forceful agents with an agency tied to the fact that they are also persuasive signs of innovation and thus preferred by managers over more traditional means. The article discuss how the agency of iPads implemented in Danish schools challenged the implementation of a research based auxiliary artefact, the TECS-model, meant to help teachers managing teaching with iPads in Danish schools. Researchers had to develop a special sensitivity to the cultural force of all of these artefacts in trying to support change.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorking relationally in and across practices : a cultural-historical approach to collaboration
EditorsAnne Edwards
Number of pages18
Place of publicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Publication year5 Jan 2017
Pages229-247
Article number13
Chapterpart III
ISBN (print)978-1-107-11037-3
StatePublished - 5 Jan 2017

    Research areas

  • Research methodology, Developmental work research, Relational agency, Mediation, Cultural force of technology, Auxiliary artefacts non-human actors

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