chapter  1
15 Pages

How sociomaterial approaches could support higher education as a critical practice


In higher education, as elsewhere, sociomaterial approaches focus not on an individual learner or an individual’s skills, but on the collective, where this embraces the human and non-human. In this collective, we need to recognise the ways that materiality of all kinds – both the human and non-human – actively enable, infl uence and constrain what people think and do, the patterns in which they move, and the consequences of their activities. ‘Stuff’ matters, and it is matter. Knowing and capability are not generated and controlled only through humans. They are more-than-human, produced at least partly through the ways things work on, with and through humans’ perceptions, emotions, practices and judgements (e.g. Nespor 1994, Edwards 2011, Fenwick & Edwards 2014).