oa Journal of Education - Analysing pedagogy: the problem of framing
The sociologist Basil Bernstein presents a delicate and rigorous conceptual frame for researching pedagogy, which enables an analysis of transmission and acquisition in relation to social class. Bernsteinï¿½s theoretical project demonstrates how class relations generate and distribute different forms of communication and ways of making meaning which differentially position subjects with respect to schooling and its requirements. The purpose of this article is to interrogate the use of Bernsteinï¿½s theory in analysing pedagogy, in particular in relation to the two key concepts of classification and framing which underpin his theory. The article considers the application of the theory in the South African context, and the emergence of empirical texts that ï¿½fall outï¿½ of the theoretical frame. The development of the theory in relation to these texts is consequently explored. The article is located within a broader study addressing the reproduction of social class differences through pedagogy (Hoadley, 2005). The research was conducted in South African primary schools in 2004. Drawing on a range of data, including classroom observation, interview and student task data, the study sought to develop a framework for the analysis of pedagogic variation across social class school settings, and to show how inequalities are potentially amplified through the pedagogic practices found in classrooms.
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