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Learning to Teach in the Digital Age

New Materialities and Maker Paradigms in Schools


Sean Justice

Learning to Teach in the Digital Age tells the story of a group of K–12 teachers as they began to connect with digital making and learning pedagogies. Guiding questions at the heart of this qualitative case study asked how teaching practices engaged with and responded to the maker movement and digital making and learning tools and materials. Over the course of one school year, Sean Justice attended to the ebb and flow of teaching and learning at an independent K–12 girls school the northeastern United States. Teachers and administrators from across grade levels and academic domains participated in interviews and casual conversations, and opened their classrooms to ad hoc observations. In conducting the study, Justice interwove a sociomaterial disposition with new materialism, posthumanism, and new media theory. Methods were inspired by narrative inquiry and actor-network theory. Findings suggested that digital making and learning pedagogies were stabilizing at the school, but not in a linear way. Further, Justice suggests that the teaching practices that most engaged the ethos of twenty-first-century learning enacted a kind of learning we hear about from artists, writers, scientists, and mathematicians when they talk about what innovation feels like, leading to the proposition that a different kind of language is needed to describe the effects of digital materialities on teaching practice.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Justice, Sean, author. Title: Learning to teach in the digital age: new materialities and maker paradigms in schools / Sean Justice. Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2016. Series: New literacies and digital epistemologies; vol. 78 | ISSN 1523-9543 Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2016015263 | ISBN 978-1-4331-3319-0 (hardcover: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-3318-3 (paperback: alk. paper) | ISBN 978-1-4539-1887-6 (ebook pdf) ISBN 978-1-4331-3720-4 (epub) | ISBN 978-1-4331-3721-1 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Maker movement in education—United States. | Education—Effect of technological innovations on—United States. | Actor-network theory. Classification: LCC LB1029.M35 J87 2016 | DDC 371.102—dc23 LC record available at Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

© 2016 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006 All rights reserved. Reprint or reproduction, even partially, in all forms such as microfilm, xerography, microfiche, microcard, and offset strictly prohibited.

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