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Towards an “Actor-Network Theory” Perspective in Education and Research—Affirmative Action in America:How to Teach a Controversy ?

Eric Agbessi, Pierre Mathieu

Abstract : The main goal of this article is to explain how a new pedagogical project has been defined and implemented to teach concepts, such as Affirmative Action to master students. Indeed, instead of providing a classical teaching on intercultural matters centered on the teachers course, we try to get students as much as possible involved in the teaching process and make them work on their creativity in class. Our purpose is then to implement a new pedagogical model of teaching based on an Actor-Network Theory approach developed in three ways : 1. Bring the students not to consider Affirmative Action as spectators any more but as actants (from sense to sensitivity) ; 2. Think about Affirmative Action in terms of associations (not only knowledge but also multidimensional and dynamic sets of skills and competencies combining multidisciplinary approaches) ; and 3. Help the students develop critical approaches by taking them to consider matters of concern rather than matters of fact. Examples are eventually given to highlight and set in context this theoretical approach from an “Actor-Network Theory” perspective.

Keywords : Affirmative Action, Actor-Network Theory, pedagogy, intercultural human resources

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