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10 APRIL 2011

Classification and framing in pedagogic discourse and practice

"The concept of classification is at the heart of Bernstein's theory of pedagogic discourse and practice. Classification refers to 'the degree of boundary maintenance between contents' (Bernstein 1973a, p. 205; 1973b, p. 88) and is concerned with the insulation or boundaries between curricular categories (areas of knowledge and subjects). Strong classification refers to a curriculum that is highly differentiated and separated into traditional subjects; weak classification refers to a curriculum that is integrated and in which the boundaries between subjects are fragile.

Using the concept of classification, Bernstein outlined two types of curriculum codes: collection and integrated codes. The first refers to a strongly classified curriculum; the latter, to a weakly classified curriculum. In keeping with his Durkheimian project, Bernstein analyzed the way in which the shift from collection to integrated curriculum codes represents the evolution from mechanical to organic solidarity (or from traditional to modern society), with curricular change marking the movement from the sacred to the profane.

Whereas classification is concerned with the organization of knowledge into curriculum, framing is related to the transmission of knowledge through pedagogic practices. Framing refers to the location of control over the rules of communication and, according to Bernstein (1990), 'if classification regulates the voice of a category then framing regulates the form of its legitimate message' (p. 100). Furthermore, 'frame refers to the degree of control teacher and pupil possess over the selection, organization, pacing and timing of the knowledge transmitted and received in the pedagogical relationship' (1973b, p. 88). Therefore, strong framing refers to a limited degree of options between teacher and students; weak framing implies more freedom.

Bernstein developed this approach into a systematic analysis of pedagogic discourse and practices. First, he outlined a theory of pedagogic rules that examined the 'intrinsic features which constitute and distinguish the specialized form of communication realized by the pedagogic discourse of education' (Bernstein, 1990, p. 165). Second, he related his theory of pedagogic discourse to a social–class base and applied it to the ongoing development of different educational practices (Bernstein, 1990, p. 63–93).

The concept of code was central to Bernstein's sociology. From the outset of its use in his work on language (restricted and elaborated codes), code refers to a 'regulative principle which underlies various message systems, especially curriculum and pedagogy' (Atkinson, 1985, p. 136). Curriculum and pedagogy are considered message systems, and with a third system, evaluation, they constitute the structure and processes of school knowledge, transmission and practice. As Bernstein (1973b) noted: 'Curriculum defines what counts as valid knowledge, pedagogy defines what counts as valid transmission of knowledge, and evaluation defines what counts as a valid realization of the knowledge on the part of the taught' (p. 85). Thus, his theory of education must be understood in terms of the concepts of classification, framing and evaluation, and their relationship to the structural aspects of his sociological project.

Following this earlier work on curriculum and pedagogic practice was a detailed analysis of pedagogic discourse that presented a complex analysis of the recontextualization of knowledge through the pedagogic device (see Bernstein, 1990). Bernstein's work on pedagogic discourse was concerned with the production, distribution and reproduction of official knowledge and how this knowledge is related to structurally determined power relations. What is critical is that Bernstein was concerned with more than the description of the production and transmission of knowledge; he was concerned with its consequences for different groups.

Bernstein's analysis of pedagogic practice looked at the process and content of what occurs inside schools. His theory of pedagogic practice examined a series of rules considered both how these rules affect the content to be transmitted and, perhaps more important, how they 'act selectively on those who can successfully acquire it.' From an analysis of these rules, Bernstein examined 'the social class assumptions and consequences of forms of pedagogic practice' (Bernstein, 1990, p. 63). Finally, he applied this theory to conservative/traditional versus progressive/child centred) practices. He differentiated between a pedagogic practice that is dependent on the economic market–that emphasizes vocational education–and another that is independent and autonomous of the market–that is legitimated by the autonomy of knowledge. Bernstein concluded that both, despite their claims to the contrary, would not eliminate the reproduction of class inequalities. Through a consideration of the inner workings of the types of educational practice, Bernstein contributed to a greater understanding of how schools reproduce what they are ideologically committed to eradicating–social–class advantages in schooling and society.

Bernstein's analysis of the social–class assumptions of pedagogic discourse and practice is the foundation for linking microeducational processes to the macrosociological levels of social structure and class and power relations. His thesis was that there are significant differences in the social–class assumptions of visible and invisible pedagogy and despite these differences there may indeed be similar outcomes, especially in the reproduction of power and symbolic control. Thus, from his early work on code theory to the more recent works in Class, codes and control, volumes 4 and 5 on pedagogic discourse, (1990, p. 165–218) and on pedagogic practices (1990; 1996), Bernstein's project sought to link microprocesses (language, transmission, and pedagogy) to macroforms–to how cultural and educational codes and the content and process of education are related to social class and power relations."

(Alan R. Sadovnik, 2001)

Prospects: English [2] French [3] Spainish [4] the quarterly review of comparative education (Paris, UNESCO: International Bureau of Education), vol. XXXI, no. 4, December 2001, p. 687–703. UNESCO: International Bureau of Education, 2001

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 SEPTEMBER 2010

Wayfinding: the organization and communication of our dynamic relationship to space and the environment

"Wayfinding is the organization and communication of our dynamic relationship to space and the environment. Successful design to promote wayfinding allows people to: (1) determine their location within a setting, (2) determine their destination, and (3) develop a plan that will take them from their location to their destination. The design of wayfinding systems should include: (1) identifying and marking spaces, (2) grouping spaces, and (3) linking and organizing spaces through both architectural and graphic means."

(Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access, School of Architecture and Planning, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York)

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TAGS

architectural communication • boundarycirculationcognitive mapconceptual mapconceptual model • cues • design • destination • destination identificationdirectional information • districts • edgesenvironmentgraphic communicationgraphic deviceslegibilitylinkinglocalitylocationmarkersmental imagenavigationnavigational methodsnodeorganisation and communicationorganising spacesorientationpathperceptionrepetitionrhythmsignagespace • tactile marking systems • wayfindingwayfinding systemsyou are herezone

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
07 JULY 2010

There was relatively little divide between spectator and performer in the archaic theatre

"In the archaic theatre there was relatively little divide between spectator and performer, seeing and doing; people danced and spoke, then retired to a stone seat to watch others dance and declaim. By the time of Aristotle, actors and dancers had become a caste with special skills of costuming, speaking, and moving. Audiences stayed offstage, and so developed their own skills of interpretation as spectators. As critics, the audience sought to speculate then about what the stage–characters did not understand about themselves (though the chorus on stage sometimes also took on this clarifying role)."

(Richard Sennett, 2008, p.125)

Fig.1 Lysistrata Summer 2006 University of Florida

2). Sennett, R. (2008). "The Craftsman". New Haven & London, Yale University Press.

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TAGS

2008actor • archaic theatre • Aristotleaudienceauthorshipboundary • chorus • Classicalcostumedance • demarcation • engagementjoinorderingparticipationperformanceperformerRichard Sennettscriptibleseeing and doingshow (spectacle)skillspectatorshipstageThe Craftsmantheatre

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
30 MAY 2010

Enabling entrepreneurial organisational culture within art and design

"Gibbs, Knapper and Piccinin (2009) describe a perceived shift of organisational culture over time from, collegial to bureaucratic to corporate and finally to a fourth entrepreneurial culture characterised 'by a focus on competence and an orientation to the outside world, involving continuous learning in a turbulent context. The management style involves devolved and dispersed leadership. Decisionmaking is flexible and emphasises accountable, professional expertise. Students are seen as partners.' (p. 6). UCA is considering whether an entrepreneurial culture is most suited to its ambitions for increased internal and external collaboration and if so the associated consequences for the working relationships between leaders and academics, and the degree of academic autonomy.

If universities were to accept a need to change their cultures and become more entrepreneurial, then it is possible that this might lead to confusion amongst staff as they experience aspects of different types of culture. Gibbs, Knapper and Piccinin (2009) note that this model of four organisational cultures is oversimplified and that is possible for 'individuals to hold conflicting perceptions of the organisational culture at the same time' (p. 6). Nevertheless, the model does seem to be useful in helping to reflect on the type of culture that might be desirable for a university offering art and design subjects."

(Paul Coyle, 2010)

Coyle, P. (2010). 'Crossing Boundaries – Creative Spaces'. Cumulus, International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media. Genk, Belgium.

TAGS

2010 • Association of University Administrators • AUA • boundary • Christopher Knapper • collaborationcollaborative working • Creative Arts Leadership and Management • creative industriesCumulus Associationdisciplines • entrepreneurial culture • Graham Gibbshigher educationindependent decision-makingindividual initiativeinnovationleadershipmanagementmultidisciplinarynexusorganisational culture • organisational models • partnership • Paul Coyle • public value • Sergio Piccinin • teachingUCAUKUniversity for the Creative Arts • values-driven leadership

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 JUNE 2009

How social networks lead to innovation

"Technology has expanded our ability to communicate across geographic and social distance. "Global" is the word of the day. The limited scale of yesterday's organisations is today inefficient. We've removed layers of bureaucracy and laid in fast, flexible communication systems.

Leaders of large organisations inevitably talk about people and cultural issues when asked to describe the most difficult barriers to managing and co–ordinating communications.

We are capable of co–ordinating across scattered markets of human endeavour, but we are not yet competent in how to take advantage of this capability. This is because we continue to work in organisation silos and in the way we learned in long–established organisations."
(Ron Burt, 17 February 2008)

[Professor Ron Burt argues that social networks spanning the gaps in our existing social structure are key to innovation, and personal and commercial success.]

TAGS

boundarycommunication systemsenterpriseglobalinnovationknowledge transferNESTAnetwork • organisation silos • scattered markets • silossocial networkssocial structure • structural holes

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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