SOCIAL PRACTICE THEORY AND CHANGE PROCESSES IN HIGHER EDUCATION: VALUE AND INSIGHTS IN THE CASE OF POWERPOINT PRACTICES
Using the relevant literature and secondary data, this paper interrogates the development, uses and effects of PowerPoint, the display technology, though the lens of social practice theory (SPT).
The purposes of this interrogation are:
1. to assess the power of SPT to offer more than would otherwise be available to the analyst and
2. to extract any lessons for change processes more generally on the other.
These questions could be roughly paraphrased as:
1. "does SPT really offer us anything we didn’t already know?” and
2. “what can the application of SPT in this case study tell us about change process in higher education?“
The paper gives a brief overview of social practice theory followed by an account of the rise of PowerPoint and suggested explanations for its rapid and wide dissemination and use. The critical commentary there has been on its deleterious effects is summarised .
This provides the foundation for the second section which goes on to apply a SPT lens to the phenomenon in order to answer the research questions about change processes and the value of that lens. Conclusions are drawn, answering those questions. Although there are elements of re-stating the obvious in more obscure language, insights offered by SPT about both PowerPoint and its effects are identified, as are improved understandings about change processes more generally - understandings that would not be evident without SPT.
 Adams, C. (2006) PowerPoint, habits of mind, and classroom culture. Journal of Curriculum Studies 38, 389–411. doi:10.1080/00220270600579141
 Archer, M. (1982) Morphogenesis versus structuration: on combining structure and action, British Journal of Sociology, 33, 4, 455–83.
 Archer, M. (2007) Making our Way Through the World, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
 Barnes, B. (2001) Practice as Collective Action. In The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory, edited by T. Schatzki, K. Knorr Cetina K,. and E. Von Savigny, 25-36. London: Routledge.
 Bernstein, B. (1999) Vertical and Horizontal Discourse: an Essay. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 20, (2): 157–173. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01425699995380
 Bernstein, B. (2000) Pedagogy, Symbolic Control and Identity: Theory, research, critique, revised edition. New York: Rowman and Little.
 Bijker, W. E. (1995) Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs: Toward a Theory of Sociotechnical Change. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
 Boud, D. (2012) Problematising Practice-Based Education. In Practice-Based Education: Perspectives and Strategies, edited by J. Higgs, J., R. Barnett, and S. Billett, 55-70. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
 Bourdieu, P. (1990) The Logic of Practice. Cambridge: Polity Press.
 Bumiller, E. (2010) We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/world/27powerpoint.html?src=me&ref=general&_r=0
 Clegg, S. (2007) Extending the boundaries of research into higher education, in Enhancing Higher Education, Theory and Scholarship. Proceedings of the 30th HERDSA Annual Conference, Adelaide, 8-11 July 2007: pp 10.
 De Certeau, M. (1984) The Practice of Everyday Life. Berkeley: University of California Press.
 Frohlich, K.L., Corin, E. and Potvin, L. (2001) A theoretical proposal for the relationship between context and disease, Sociology of Health & Illness, 23, 6, 776–97.