School of Education Doctoral Seminar Series
Schooling, Reproduction and Transformation
(13/11, 14:00–16:00, BL2101)
Please prepare for the seminar by engaging with the common text, a set of media pieces, and any others that interest you, reflecting on them and the following questions in relation to your research. If you have other readings that you have found useful for thinking about issues of power in your own research and that will diversify our perspectives, please send references so that we can recommend them to the group.
This statement by Bernstein captures, for some, the core issue for sociological educational research and for democratic society:
‘Education is central to the knowledge base of society, groups and individuals. Yet education also, like health, is a public institution, central to the production and reproduction of distributive injustices. Biases in the form, content, access and opportunities of education have consequences not only for the economy; these biases can reach down to drain the very springs of affirmation, motivation and imagination. In this way such biases can become, and often are, an economic and cultural threat to democracy. Education can have a crucial role in creating tomorrow’s optimism in the context of today’s pessimism. But if it is to do this then we must have an analysis of the social biases in education. These biases lie deep within the very structure of the educational system’s processes of transmission and acquisition and their social assumptions.’ (Bernstein, 2000, p. xix)
For Bernstein, a study of the destructive biases that underpin the current educational inequalities, and hence ‘drain the springs of affirmation, motivation and imagination’, is needed in order for education to fulfil its promise of an optimistic future in which all groups are included and have a stake in society. In this session, we will study Bernstein’s theory which has been widely adopted as a theoretical and conceptual framework for educational research and which has the aim of both uncovering injustice and developing progressive curricula and pedagogy.
Bernstein, B. (2000) Pedagogy, Symbolic control and Identity: Theory, Research, Critique (revised edition), Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield. Introduction, pp. xi-xxvi; Chapter 1, ‘Pedagogic Codes and Their Modalities of Practice’; and Chapter 2, The Pedagogic Device (pp 1–39). Please contact Sarah Amsler for copies.
Editorial: ‘Bernstein’s theory of social class, codes and control (editorial)‘, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 2002, 23(4): 525-526.
Apple, M. W. (2002) ‘Does Education have Independent Power? Bernstein and the question of relative autonomy’, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 23(4), pp. 607–616.
Abbas, A. and McLean, M. (2007) ‘Qualitative research as a method for making just comparisons of pedagogic quality in higher education: a pilot study’, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 28(6), pp. 723–737.
Abbas, A. and McLean, M. (2010) ‘Tackling Inequality through Quality’: A comparative case study using Bernsteinian concepts‘ in E. Unterhalter and V. Carpentier (eds) Global Inequalities and Higher Education, London: Palgrave MacMillan.
Beck, J. (2006) ‘Directed time’: identity and time in New Right and new Labour policy discourse’ in R. Moore, M. Arnot, J. Beck and H. Daniels (eds) Knowledge, Power and Educational Reform: Applying the sociology of Basil Bernstein, London: Routledge.
Bernstein, B. (1971) Class, Codes and Control Vol. 1: Theoretical Studies towards a Sociology of Language, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul (in library).
Bernstein, B. (1973) Class, Codes and Control Vol. 2: Applied Studies towards a Sociology of Language, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul (in library).
Bernstein, B. (1975) Class, Codes and Control Vol. 3: Towards a Theory of Educational Transmissions, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Chapter 5: ‘The classification and framing of educational knowledge.’
Bernstein, B. (1975) Class, Codes and Control Vol. 4: Towards a Theory of Educational Transmissions, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul (in library).
Manton, K. (2006) ‘On knowledge structures and knower structures’, in R. Moore, M. Arnot, J. Beck and H. Daniels (eds) Knowledge, Power and Educational Reform: Applying the Sociology of Basil Bernstein, London: Routledge.
McLean, M. and Abbas, A. (2009) ‘The “biographical turn” in university sociology teaching: a Bernsteinian analysis’, Special Issue of Teaching in Higher Education: Purposes, Knowledges and Identities, 14(5), pp 1–11.
Moore, R. and Muller, J. (1999) ‘Discourse of “voice” and the problem of knowledge and identity in the Sociology of Education‘, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 20(2): 189-206.
Muller, J (2004) ‘Introduction: the possibilities of Basil Bernstein’ in J.Muller, B. Davies and A. Morais (eds) Reading Bernstein, Researching Bernstein, London: RoutledgeFalmer.
Power, S. (2006) ‘Disembedded middle-class pedagogic identities’, in R. Moore, M. Arnot, J. Beck and H. Daniels (eds) Knowledge, Power and Educational Reform: Applying the Sociology of Basil Bernstein, London: Routledge
Sen, A. (1999) Development as Freedom, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Singh, P. (2002) ‘Pedagogising Knowledge: Bernstein’s theory of the pedagogic device’, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 23(4).
Please contact Dr. Sarah Amsler for further details (firstname.lastname@example.org) or drop by BH0208b.