From response and adaptation to learning, agency and contribution: making the theory of practice architectures dangerous


  • Nick Hopwood University of Technology, Sydney, Australia and Stellenbosch University, Matieland, South Africa



Praxis; agency; transformation; learning; practice architectures; pandemic


What is higher education praxis in a world beset by crises? Sjølie et al. (2020) explore this in relation to academics’ learning during the, using the theory of practice architectures, to highlight key responses and adaptations to the Coronavirus pandemic. I offer a re-reading of their cases of changing practice, challenging a sense of being accepting of, resigned to, and unfolding ‘under’ given circumstances. Instead, I highlight agentic, transformative praxis, where people act individually and collectively towards alternative futures. Drawing on Stetsenko’s transformative activist stance, I point to ways the theory of practice architectures might be put to work ‘dangerously’, as part of a struggle for a better world. Envisioning a reinvigoration of a politically charged theory of practice architectures, I argue the it offers particular value through the concept of learning as coming to practise differently, sharpened through a notion of contribution rather than participation.






Response to a previously published article on JPHE (peer-reviewed)