Students researching teachers’ practice: Lines of flight and temporary assemblage conversions in and through a Students-as-Co-researchers event

Year: 2013

Author: Mayes, Eve

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Observers of teachers’ practice in their classrooms have typically been adults: academic researchers analysing professional practice, school executive members assessing teacher quality and colleagues engaged in professional development and school reform initiatives. This paper discusses observations of teachers’ practice from a different vantage point: students. In 2011, two Year 9 students observed a teacher in her classroom. This student research event was part of a broader four-year Students-as-Co-Researchers initiative investigating teaching and learning in a low socio-economic high school receiving targeted funding. In 2013, these students were invited to remember and re-construct the 2011 research event in various configurations. This paper examines the affective flows at work in re-positioning students and teachers using the concepts of the “assemblage” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980/ 1987), subjectivity as “lines” (Deleuze & Parnet, 2006/ 1977)and “rhizoanalysis” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980/ 1987). It is argued that lines of flight - ruptures in thought and experimentation in practice - escaped in and through the 2011 research event and the 2013 research assemblages for both the students, the teacher and the researcher. Alternative ways of speaking, relating, teaching, learning and becoming prompted by these encounters in the classroom, the staffroom and the school are considered for their potential to convert the “education assemblage” (Youdell, 2011, p. 137).
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Deleuze, G., & Parnet, C. (2006/ 1977). Dialogues II (H. Tomlinson & B. Habberjam, Trans.). London & New York: Continuum.
Youdell, D. (2011). School trouble: Identity, power and politics in education. Oxon & New York: Routledge.