g Cochran Smith et al 2014 Emdin 2016 Sockett 2012 Strom 2015 In the following

G cochran smith et al 2014 emdin 2016 sockett 2012

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examine teachers and teaching (e.g., Cochran-Smith et al., 2014; Emdin, 2016; Sockett, 2012; Strom, 2015). In the following section we detail an alternative theoretical position, rhizomatics , which offers a vital materialist perspective that we suggest can help rethink teacher dispositions from a more complex, situated stance. Importantly, the concept of viewing one’s level of capability as being integrated with context and activity is not new to the educational literature, as various branches of learning theory speak to the idea that students co-construct knowledge rather than acquire it (Corno et al., 2001). Addressing the situation-specific nature of competence and aptitude, some cognitive theorists have argued that “the concept of aptitude ‘in the person’s head’ should be replaced by aptitude ‘as a property of person-in-situation’” (p. 41). As early as the 1980s, situated
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cognition was gaining favor for viewing the learner/person as inseparable from the learning situation, and for critiquing over- reliance on artificial tasks that place cognition entirely in the learner’s mind. Focusing on student learning, situated cognitive theory united organism and environment as a single interacting system (Corno et al., 2001). Here, we build on the notion of situatedness and interconnectivity, focusing on teaching, adopting a decentered theoretical lens that moves the focus beyond the individual teacher to multiplicity. We take up these ideas next. RHIZOMATIC PERSPECTIVE ON DISPOSITIONS The “good sense” readings of dispositions summarized above are limiting in that they are driven by a fundamental logic scheme based on rational humanism. Such patterns of thought are based on the Cartesian notion of cogito , or the rational, autonomous human subject (St. Pierre, 2000), and perpetuate a positivist ontology characterized by linear, one-to-one correspondences, essentialism, universalism, static reality, dichotomies, and sameness (Strom & Martin, 2017). In short, traditional understandings of teacher dispositions are based on a logic that can never come close to expressing the complex, relational, situated nature of teaching and related activity. We suggest that the vital materialist work of Deleuze and Guattari (1987), and specifically, the concepts of rhizomatics, offer a radically different logic that can provide an alternative reading of teacher dispositions (and, more broadly, the phenomenon of “teaching”). However, because these ideas depart so drastically from the view of reality that has dominated Western thought for over 400 years, the concepts and their related vocabulary may at first seem strange and difficult to understand. In our discussion of rhizomatics, we attempt to translate these ideas as concretely as possible while preserving the important ontological shift they entail. Based on the figuration of the rhizome (see Figure 1)—a bulb or tuber that expands below and above ground unpredictably— rhizomatics disrupts the linear rationality of Enlightenment thinking, or what Deleuze and Guattari (1987) called “the oldest and weariest type of thought” (p. 5). These philosophers refer to positivist thinking as arborescence, arguing that the characteristics of
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