1st Edition

Engaging with Actor-Network Theory as a Methodology in Medical Education Research

By Bethan Mitchell Copyright 2021
    158 Pages
    by Routledge

    158 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book outlines a methodology based on actor-network theory (ANT) and praxiography and applies this to the field of medical education. Drawn from a detailed account of practice in a medical setting, this book shows how researchers in education and medical education can learn to work with ANT approaches and attune to different insights in practice.

    The book gives a detailed account of what actor-network theory can bring to research, through the investigation of social and material networks. The philosophical underpinnings of actor-network theory are presented as the basis of this emerging methodology, through an exploration of learning as disruption, practice as human and material assemblages, and power as regulated difference in worlds of practice. This is a qualitative approach for exploring complexity that does not attempt to represent or reduce but allows for unique insights into practice that might otherwise be overlooked.

    With a robust grounding in practice and professional learning and actor-network theory, this book will be of great interest for academics, scholars, and postgraduate students in the field of research methods and medical education.



    Structure of the book

    Chapter 1: ANT as methodology

    Background to the research

    Actor-network theory and researching learning

    The research story

    Praxiography as researching practice

    A note on COVID-19

    Chapter 2: A brief history of ANT

    The umbrella term of sociomateriality

    Actor-network theory: history and overview

    Three dimensions of ANT

    ANT in practice

    Chapter 3: The research setting

    Improvement science: From Gold Standard to Silver Bullet

    Student-led improvement science projects

    Practice and professional learning

    Improvement science and medical education

    Learning in medical education and pharmacy studies

    Medical education and COVID-19

    Chapter 4: The research assemblage

    Part 1: Ontological orientation of the analysis

    Part 2: Research design

    Chapter 5: ANT in the field

    Cohort 1: The antibiotic story

    Cohort 2: Insulin prescribing

    Research summary

    Chapter 6: Pedagogies of Improvement Science

    Reflections about SLISPs

    IHI Practicum network

    The symmetry of online practices

    Multiple worlds of SLISPs

    Chapter 7: The future of ANT as methodology

    Key points from the research

    Educational implications

    ANT and COVID-19

    ANT as methodology

    ANT and medical education


    Chapter 8: Reflections on the research

    Networks as an analysis tool

    Researching symmetry

    Describing multiple worlds


    Bethan Mitchell is Senior Lecturer in Education Studies at the School of Education at Bath Spa University, UK.