From Anthropocentrism to Post-humanism in the Educational Debate

Alessandro Ferrante, Daniele Sartori
2016 Relations  
This paper explores the impact post-human stance has on the study of the learning process. It shows how this new paradigm which focuses upon the relationship between human and non-human modifies our understanding of education. First, we argue that the educational debate is largely inspired by an anthropocentric perspective. It is grounded in the notion of human self-determination and it neglects the role of non-human factors in the learner's development. Furthermore, non-humans (both animals
more » ... machines) are usually considered as something to be used: in other words, they are instruments. This fact notwithstanding, there is a small minority of contemporary learning theories that investigate the relationship between human and non-human from a non-anthropocentric point of view. An overview of these theories is offered in the second part of the paper. Finally the use of Latour's Actor-Network Theory (ANT) in educational research will be explored to show one of the possible non-anthropocentric methods of conceiving and investigating the learning process. According to ANT, learning can be interpreted as the effect of a network made up of heterogeneous elements, both human and non-human.
doi:10.7358/rela-2016-002-fesa fatcat:stxrdyupvvckbc4tycqeohfgq4