Ulmer | 2015 | Educational Philosophy and Theory
This article examines Catherine Malabou’s philosophical concept of plasticity as a new materialist methodology. Given that plasticity simultaneously maintains the ability to receive, give, and annihilate form, plasticity and plastic readings offer material-discursive possibilities for educational research. This article begins by discussing the evolution of plasticity, applications thereof, and its location within new materialist philosophy. To then demonstrate the possibilities of plasticity, this article takes the example of educational policy reform in relation to technology-centered models of education. A plastic reading of ongoing policy discourses argues that conceptualizing policy, stakeholders, and technology as plastic contribute new scholarly understandings regarding the shape and movement of educational policy formation. Significantly, the methodology of plastic readings provides an ideal lens through which to approach educational policy development as a series of entangled ideas and interests. In addition, plastic readings enable the re-envisioned types of analysis and critique increasingly called for by qualitative methodologists and new materialist scholars.
Image: Untitled (Source: R. Ulmer, 2011)