‘Pedagogy Before Technology’ is a well-intentioned, yet naive, perspective.

This ‘pedagogy first’ stance ignores the undeniable interactions and ‘entanglement’ of ourselves with our environment. I have written previously that it IS about the tools and have included this image as a reference. (The ideas in the image are unpacked in the post.)

It IS about the Tools

Entangled Pedagogy

Tim Fawns, Co-Director of the MSc Clinical Education at the University of Edinburgh and Director of the Edinburgh Summer School in Clinical Education has presented us with a new way to think about this. He speaks of ‘Entangled Pedagogy’. (I encourage you to read the whole paper. This is a mere snippet!)

Discussions of pedagogy driving technology, or vice versa, reinforce a false dichotomy. Pedagogy is not just method, and technology is not just a vehicle for implementing that method. Pedagogy involves the negotiation of methods and technologies, in relation to purposes and values, in a subjectively understood context.

Postdigital Science and Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-022-00302-7.

Tim suggests that avoiding either technological or pedagogical determinism requires ‘a holistic view of situated, purposeful uses of technology’ and that we need to focus on relations rather than elements. Individuals and things do not exist as separate entities but are ‘always already entangled in activity’. This is in keeping with the work of ‘situated cognition’ with which many of us are familiar.

Zoom Out

I have always liked to think about ‘zooming out’ to help gain a holistic view. It takes us out of the details and helps us to ‘see’ the bigger picture.

So next time that you hear the call of ‘pedagogy first‘, help the caller to ‘zoom out’ and entangle them in a conversation. 😉

Here is a related paper for those interested in these issues in the Physical Education domain: Digital technology and teacher digital competency in physical education: a holistic view of teacher and student perspectives by Jason Wallace et al.