The key purpose of this special issue is to develop our understanding of the role of theory in technology and learning. The choice of topic reflects an awareness of the challenges facing researchers in our field. These challenges include:
- Addressing a general concern that the use of technology (and for that matter research into education in general) is under-theorised. How can we best argue for the importance of the theory and make clear its contribution to understanding our field?
- Communicating theory to users of research. How does theory become mediated by academics and practitioners? How, if at all, does theoretical insight influence practice?
- Identifying theorising as a distinctive step in the research process: What do researchers do when they are theorising? Can approaches really be characterised as inductive or deductive? What kind of knowledge do researchers think they are producing?
- Identifying shifts in the use of theoretical frameworks. We know that frameworks such as actor network theory, activity theory and community of practice come in and out of fashion. Why does one theory evoke enthusiasm at a particular time and when and why does that theory become stale?
- Evaluating different kinds of theoretical contribution in the field. For example, what are the strengths and limitations of models such as TAM? Are schema such as TPCK more normative than explanatory? What has social theory to offer?
- Asking where next for theory and theorising? For example, where might interdisciplinary approaches be developed? How can we avoid taking frameworks from other disciplines and using them off-the peg? What would a distinctively homegrown theory of technology and pedagogy look like? Where are related fields moving in their use of theory?
This call for submissions provides an opportunity for researchers to present their work on their theorising and their use theory in the field of technology and pedagogy. This is an open call for papers and colleagues are asked to respond creatively to the challenges raised above. Illustrative examples of papers include:
- The use of a particular framework in research: why used, what opportunities did the framework generate, what limitations were encountered?
- Reflections on the short history of theorising into technology and pedagogy.
- Reflexive accounts of carrying out research including awareness of breakthrough moments in the construction of theory.
- Case study accounts of promoting/mediating theoretical understanding with users of research.
- The recurring case for theory, noting, for example, the limitations of data-driven analysis.
- Where next for theory and theorising? For example, where is the role of theory in an age of Big Data and data analytics?
The context for these papers is broad and includes schools, teacher education, higher education and informal settings.
Submission and Deadlines
September 2017: Call for papers opens.
By 31 December 2017: Send a proposed paper title and 500 word abstract (use 12 point font and generously spaced text) to the guest editors using the following emails:
By 15 January 2018: Notification from the editors that we would (or would not) like you to submit a full paper for consideration in the special issue. Please note that we are trying to ensure a range of papers; if we are not encouraging you to submit to the general issue it might be that we have simply too many suggested papers on a similar theme. Do not be discouraged from developing your paper for another journal or indeed for a later edition of Technology, Pedagogy and Education.
By 30 April 2018: Submission of full paper. This should be a maximum of 6000 words. Please see submission guidelines on the journal website at:
By 31 July 2018: Reviews completed. Note that there will be two phases of peer review. First, a peer review by authors of submitted papers, offering both summative and formative feedback. Second, a review from a Technology, Pedagogy and Education board member who is not part of the Special Issue team.
By 30 September 2018: Final versions of accepted papers.