Pedagogies of mattering: re-conceptualising relational pedagogies in higher education

Karen Gravett*, Carol A. Taylor, Nicola Fairchild

*Corresponding author for this work

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This article engages posthuman theory to propose a rethinking of the theory and practice of relational pedagogies within higher education (HE). There has been renewed emphasis within HE discourses on the significance of relationships within learning and teaching as a means to offer a counter-view to an uncaring marketised HE system. This article argues the need to build on and extend the current framing of relational pedagogies. It argues for an ethically affirmative reframing, through a posthuman, feminist materialist theoretical lens. The theory we elaborate is put to work through illustrative examples from our experiences and practices as educators which illuminate how and why relational pedagogies, considered as pedagogies of mattering, need to involve the nonhuman and more-than-human. Our examples sketch potential shapes for a pedagogy of mattering across three key areas of teaching in higher education: curriculum; teaching and learning, and assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Early online date21 Oct 2021
Publication statusEarly online - 21 Oct 2021


  • Posthumanism
  • relational pedagogies
  • mattering
  • care
  • engagement


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