"Recontextualising rules regulate the work the discipline's teachers - those who constitute its Pedagogic Recontextualising Field (PRF). The pedagogic recontextualising field produces textbooks, curricula, examination criteria and standards. The knowledge produced by researchers and theorists 'passes through ideological screens as it becomes its new form, pedagogic discourse' (Bernstein, 2000, p.115). Recontextualising knowledge for teaching involves selection, translation, and filtering: emerging as a syllabus for 'physics 101' or 'sociology 300' etc. In the late nineteenth century, the establishment of state funded and regulated education systems established Official Pedagogic Recontextualising Fields (ORF) 'created and dominated by the state for the construction and surveillance of state pedagogic discourse' (Bernstein, 2000, p.115). Emanating from the ORF, the PBRF rewards contributions to the knowledge base (laboratory science, field work, theoretical writing), but not the production of its teaching texts, especially those used in schools. The recontextualising activities needed to reproduce and advance a discipline are devalued.
As a pedagogic device, the PBRF recontextualises government policies: they are summarised, translated, operationalised in handbooks, manuals, pro-forma, and seminars. Like any pedagogic practice, these are 'there for one purpose: to transmit criteria' (Bernstein, 2000, p.28). They define the system's evaluative rules and 'provide for acquirers the principles for the production of what counts as the legitimate text. The legitimate text is any realisation on the part of the acquirer which attracts evaluation' (Bernstein, 2000, p.xiv). The production of legitimate texts is a hallmark of academic life - essays, theses, journal articles, curriculum vitae, or promotion applications require mastery of recognition, realisation and evaluation rules. Recognition rules help identify contexts - a sociology class, faculty meeting, psychology journal, Evidence Portfolio, etc. Realisation rules enable textual production - written, spoken, visual etc. It is possible to recognise a context, but lack the realisation rule needed to speak or write its texts.
Bernstein argues that those working in a field of knowledge may feel 'threatened by a change in its classificatory relation, or by an unfavourable change in the economic context' (Bernstein, 2000, p.203). From the mid to late twentieth century, Educationists experienced continual shifts in the classification and framing of their subject/s, and these reconfigured the constraints and possibilities for collective and individual identity formation."
(Sue Middleton, 2006)
1). Middleton, S. (2006). Research Assessment as a pedagogical device: A Bernsteinian exploration of its impact on New Zealandís subject/s of Education. Australian Association for Research in Education Conference Adelaide.
The "University of Canterbury [New Zealand] is looking to fine colleges that do not have enough research active staff is a further worrying sign that universities are misusing PBRF [Performance Based Research Fund] information, says TEU deputy secretary Nanette Cormack.
'PBRF scores were designed and intended as tools for government funding allocation, not for universities to use to punish individual colleges and the staff within them.'
'Using PBRF data as a proxy for internal management is an abdication by managers of their responsibilities.'
'The reality is that it is not realistic to expect that every college at the University of Canterbury , or any other university, will get high PBRF rankings. For instance new academics can take time to find their feet as researchers, but colleges should not be discouraged from employing bright new academics in case they get hit with future years of $40,000 fines.'
'It's also unfair to expect recently merged or subsumed units, such as the College of Education, without a history of active research, to be turning out internationally recognised research in a short space of time.'
'If the university's central focus becomes chasing research dollars it needs to be very aware that it does not let its other role, teaching, suffer. Academics need good professional development opportunities and support to become good researchers, not punishments for failing to live up to overly ambitious targets,' concluded Ms Cormack."
(New Zealand Tertiary Education Union, 17 July 2009)
[While this move will inevitably provide a useful boost for traditional research areas (operating within accepted discourses) it will also act to limit opportunities for early career researchers and devalue contributions drawn from new knowledge areas.]
University of Melbourne, Research and Innovation Office
The Australian Government has ... decided to develop a Research Quality Framework (RQF) that will provide a more consistent and comprehensive approach to assessing the quality and impact of publicly funded research. The aim of an RQF is to develop a basis for an improved assessment of the quality and impact of research in universities and publicly funded research agencies (PFRAs) and an effective process to achieve this. An RQF, when developed, could form the basis for future research resource allocation.
The Research Quality Framework (RQF) is Australia's equivalent of the United Kingdom's Research Assessment Exercise (UK RAE), Hong Kong's Research Assessment Exercise (HK RAE) and New Zealand's Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF).