1st Edition

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

ISBN 9780367332242
Published March 16, 2021 by Routledge
158 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents



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

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