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Between Boundary Objects and Trading Zones: Fugitive Thinking on the Cusp of Educational Policy and Practice.

Fri, August 31, 11:00am to 12:30pm, ICC, E5.4


Integration is one of the most frequently invoked educational ideas in school-wide planning. Yet depending on the situation, it can be used variably to refer to integrating teaching aims, integrating syllabus content, integrating the 'real world' with the classroom, and integrating knowledge within the individual. This paper attempts to expand on recent Science and Technology Studies scholarship by considering whether implementation constructs like fidelity, integration and adaptation are not only translated through locally meaningful actions, but give rise to novel translational practices themselves. The paper will draw on research conducted at an Australian primary school over two years to examine the implementation of the national mental health and wellbeing initiative - KidsMatter Primary. Borrowing from Stefano Harney and Fred Moten (2013), it argues that operative constructs like integration are not so much variable in their form and function as they are 'fugitive'. The paper thus considers the ways in which such an institutionally stable concept like 'integration' proliferates in the midst of an ordinary teaching day. It attempts to address a simple problem: in situations where evidence is so often a question of who and what to defer to, how do teachers go about their own fugitive thinking when working with expert knowledge? How is practice-based evidence practised amidst the confluence of educational and psychological expertise?

Key words: translation, implementation, integration, fidelity, adaptation.