ERIC Number: EJ892177
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
Pedagogies for Social Justice: Did Bernstein Get It Wrong?
Williams, Carolyn; Wilson, Steve
International Journal of Inclusive Education, v14 n4 p417-434 Jun 2010
This paper explores the often-touted incompatibility between "intellectual rigour" and "relevance" as this has manifested in Australian debates over Queensland's New Basics and "productive pedagogies", and associated initiatives such as the New South Wales Quality Teaching Framework. This debate can be located in longer-standing concerns about how best to meet the educational needs of students who experience social disadvantage. In particular, we focus on the way Bernstein's concept of "vertical" and "horizontal" discourse has been used by him and others to argue against attempting to make academic knowledge more "relevant" by introducing elements of students out of school lives into the classroom. Drawing on examples from the literature, we trouble Bernstein's contention that academic and "everyday" knowledge represent different, incompatible knowledge forms that cannot be successfully integrated. This troubling creates an opening for reconsidering the relationship between "intellectual rigour" and "relevance". We argue that we can and should pursue the bringing together of "intellectual rigour" and "relevance" as a means to engage better all students, but particularly those who experience social and educational disadvantage, and improve their learning outcomes. Accordingly, we call for challenging, at a theoretical, practical and policy level, the perception that learning cannot be made relevant without sacrificing intellectual rigour. We also call for more research on teachers already integrating "intellectual rigour" and "relevance", and for teacher professional development and scaffolding to achieve this and to moderate multiple student perspectives and claims to "relevance".
Descriptors: Social Justice, Educational Needs, Educationally Disadvantaged, Foreign Countries, Teaching Methods, Student Needs, Disadvantaged Youth, Relevance (Education), Educational Research, Faculty Development, Outcomes of Education, Social Influences, Equal Education
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia