The Materiality of Learning

Technology and Knowledge in Educational Practice

by Estrid Sørensen

Series: Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives

The field of educational research lacks a methodology for the study of learning that does not begin with humans, their aims, and their interests. The Materiality of Learning seeks to overcome this human-centered mentality by developing a novel spatial approach to the materiality of learning. Drawing on science and technology studies (STS), Estrid Sørensen compares an Internet-based 3D virtual environment project in a fourth-grade class with the class's work with traditional learning materials, including blackboards, textbooks, notebooks, pencils, and rulers. Taking into account pupils' and teachers' physical bodies, Professor Sørensen analyzes the multiple forms of technology, knowledge, and presence that are enacted with the materials. Featuring detailed ethnographic descriptions and useful end-of-chapter summaries, this book is an important reference for professionals and graduate or postgraduate students interested in a variety of fields, including educational studies, educational psychology, social anthropology, and STS.

In The Press

“Estrid Sørensen offers a deeply fascinating, new look on learning. She shows us how blackboards and notebooks, pencils and rulers, bodies and tables, PCs and virtual environments are profoundly implicated in learning processes in an ordinary classroom and an internet-based 3D virtual environment project in a fourth-grade class. Her introduction of science and technology studies into research on education inspires us to re-imagine and rearrange educational practices at a time when we are struggling with integrating new technologies in our schools.”
—Ole Dreier, University of Copenhagen