Policy Translation in Assemblage: Networked Actors Mediating Science Teachers’ Policy Play

Educational policies exist as part of complex systems of many policies, all of which science teachers must make sense before using in practice. Using Actor-Network Theory to view policy translation in assemblages, we examine how networked actors mediate teachers’ policy play. Drawing on ethnographic methods and post-structural analytic tools, we identified four mediating actors: espoused practices, learning events, administrator relationships, and communities of practice. These actors interact in the assemblage to mediate teachers’ policy dilemmas and policy responses, as they play with policies. Our findings indicate a need to look more closely at the interactions of policies with one another in teachers’ policy play, policy dilemmas as learning opportunities, the importance of social relationships with administrators in teachers’ policy play, and the dangers of lethal fidelity in adoption. We see these findings as tools to assist teacher educators in planning for future teacher learning around their role as translators and implementers of policy.

Bateman, K. M. & McDonald, S. (2023). Policy translation in assemblage: Networked actors mediating science teachers’ policy play. Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Science Education Research, 5(14). https://doi.org/10.1186/s43031-023-00081-6.