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Knowledge Code Theory

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Presentation to the Curriculum Design and Innovation Module in the Masters in Education at Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University, November 2013

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Knowledge Code Theory

  1. 1. Knowledge Code Theory Richard Pountney Sheffield Hallam University 7th November 2015
  2. 2. Social Realism • Beyond knowledge as power relations (from ‘relations to’ to ‘relations within’) • Rejects the choice between essentialism and relativism as false • we can say knowledge is historically and socially constructed and shaped by struggles among social groups without saying that all knowledge is equal and that its status merely reflects social power
  3. 3. Definitions (1) practice(s): used generally as a synonym for activity in the context of learning and teaching (practices), but also in a specific sense to refer to knowledge practices and pedagogic practices used in a social realism meaning as the meeting of two logics: context (field) and dispositions (habitus) (Bourdieu, 1986). Bernstein’s 3 message systems: Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment curriculum: a plan for learning that has a number of components including programme and content, learning objectives and learning strategies, assessment methods and resources. This view of curriculum as primarily ‘content’ is the aspect ‘most visible to students’, and which is often synonymous with curriculum structure at the programme (course) or module (unit) level in HE. pedagogy/pedagogic practice: what defines what counts as a valid transmission of knowledge. assessment: the process of identifying a mark or grade for students’ work in a module, including the defined tasks, or assignments, that the student must undertake, and the learning outcomes and criteria required for the evaluation of the submitted work.
  4. 4. Cracking the code of education • Curriculum – Everyday / Specialised • Pedagogy – Selection, sequencing and pacing – Assessment – Relationship • Levels • Stages Wayne Hugo: 10 Questions to Cracking the Code
  5. 5. Basil Bernstein (1924-2000) • Basis in sociolinguistics: sociolinguistic theory of language codes (elaborated and restricted codes in 1971) • Code: ‘a set of organizing principles behind the language employed by members of a social group’ • Sociology of education: the ordered regulation and distribution of a society’s worthwhile knowledge store • The transformation into a pedagogic discourse • Further transformation into a set of criterial standards to be attained https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_Bernstein www.legitimationcodetheory.c om 5
  6. 6. 6 Period Main focus of theory Transmission / acquisition of pedagogic discourse 1970s (CCC3) Structuring of pedagogic discourse 1980s (CCC4) Knowledge structures from which pedagogic discourse is recontextualised 1990s (CCC5) educational knowledge codes pedagogic device knowledge structures Concept The development of Bernstein’s Theory
  7. 7. 7 1. Educational knowledge codes • classification (C) – relative strength of boundaries between categories or contexts • framing (F) – relative strength of control within these categories or contexts • independently vary stronger (+) & weaker (-) – four modalities: +C,+F; +C,-F; -C,+F; -C,-F • collection code (+C, +F) • integrated code (-C, -F)
  8. 8. 8 - Classification Framing + - + Weaker boundaries between subjects, facilitatory pedagogy, etc Stronger boundaries between subjects, didactic visible pedagogy, etc Weaker boundaries between subjects, visible pedagogy, etc Stronger boundaries between subjects, facilitatory, ‘invisible’ pedagogy, etc Collection Code (+C, +F): ‘I teach history’ Integrated Code (-C, -F): ‘I teach students’
  9. 9. Strong classification and framing for course design and approval in higher education Concept Degree of emphasis in course on: Stronger Classification (+C) - boundaries between Everyday and educational knowledges (specialised) Specialist curriculum knowledge (including academic development) is emphasised in the design and approval of courses (as opposed to general experience of teaching in HE) Different forms of educational knowledge in a curriculum Discipline knowledge is downplayed as the basis for knowledge in the curriculum (as opposed to those genericised forms specified externally) Stronger Framing (+F) -control over Selecting content knowledge Curriculum content knowledge is determined by the syllabus (documented forms) (as opposed to being selected by the teacher ad hoc) Sequencing and pacing the teaching of content knowledge The organisation and structure of the curriculum is set by the institution rather than the teacher Making evaluative criteria explicit The form and focus of assessment is controlled by the institution rather than the teacher Regulating the teacher’s conduct in pedagogical relationship The teacher’s conduct is regulated by the institution via a hierarchy (authority for approving courses resides in institution)
  10. 10. 2. Bernstein’s Pedagogic Device Field of Practice Form of regulation Symbolic structure Main types Typical sites Production distributive rules knowledge structure hierarchical / horizontal knowledge structures research publications, conferences, laboratories Recontextualisation recontextualising rules curriculum collection/ integrated codes curriculum policy docs, textbooks Reproduction evaluative rules pedagogy & evaluation visible/ invisible pedagogic codes classrooms, assessment • The ‘arena’ of the pedagogic device (Maton and Muller, 2007) • Examines the structure of knowledge and its organising principles • 3 message systems: curriculum, pedagogy and assessment 10
  11. 11. www.legitimationcodetheory.c om 11 Pedagogic device and codes • codes – conceptualise practices – represent competing measures of achievement in the field (capital) • pedagogic device – is basis for creating, reproduction and change of codes – whoever controls the device (and so can set which code is higher status) is able to tilt the field in their favour • can see effects of struggles over device in terms of code changes
  12. 12. 12 Knowledge structures Horizontal ‘a series of specialised languages, each with its own specialised modes of interrogation and specialised criteria ... with non-comparable principles of description based on different, often opposed, assumptions’ Hierarchical ‘an explicit, coherent, systematically principled and hierarchical organisation of knowledge’ which develops through integrating ‘knowledge at lower levels, and ... across an expanding range of apparently differently phenomena’ L1 L2 L3 L4
  13. 13. 3. Bernstein’s Knowledge Structures • Typology of subjects: e.g. Hard; pure; soft; applied (Becher, 1998) 13
  14. 14. Code theory and the curriculum CODE THEORY CONCEPTS (Bernstein, 1977, 1990, 2000) Classification (C): a code of Bernstein’s pedagogic device, conceptualising relations of power that regulate relations (boundaries) between contexts or categories Framing (F): a code of Bernstein’s pedagogic device, conceptualising relations of control within contexts or categories, the modality. pedagogic device: the pedagogic rules and pedagogic fields that govern the field of activity conceptualising the generative mechanism underlying practices. pedagogic discourse: a symbolic rather than an actual discourse, as a principle of recontextualisation (Bernstein, 1990: 184) that is not visible but which can be known ‘through its effects in structuring practices (conceptualised in terms of codes)’ (Maton, 2004: 49). Two types of discourse are recognised: horizontal and vertical. pedagogic fields: the fields of activity (production, recontextualisation and reproduction) that constitute an ‘arena’ of struggle and conflict created by the pedagogic device .
  15. 15. Bernstein’s How To Guide • code theory is a living, evolving theory • excavation and new objects of study • conceptual advance should be cumulative • concepts that: – go beyond typologies to reveal underlying structuring principles – encompass more phenomena with minimal number of ideas – have stronger ‘grammars’, so can be used in empirical research www.legitimationcodetheory.c om 15
  16. 16. www.legitimationcodetheory.com 16 Legitimation code theory (Karl Maton) • Extends Bernstein’s code theory • Social fields of practice are fields of struggles over status and resources • Practices and beliefs as languages of legitimation, or messages as to measures of achievement • The legitimation device - ruler of the field • Legitimation codes: bases of measures of achievement
  17. 17. 17 Principle Referent relations Concepts Autonomy external positional autonomy, relational autonomy Density internal material density, moral density Specialisation social- symbolic epistemic relations, social relations Semantics meaning semantic gravity, semantic density Temporality temporal temporal positioning, temporal orientation
  18. 18. www.legitimationcodetheory.com 18 ModalitiesPrinciples Legitimation Device Autonomy Density Specialisation Temporality legitimation codes PA+/-, RA+/- MaD+/-, MoD+/- ER+/-, SR+/- TP+/-, TO+/- Semantics SG+/-, SD+/-
  19. 19. www.legitimationcodetheory.c om 19 Contradictory C/F? • collection code = +C, +F – identity and insight based on knowledge • integrated code = -C, -F – identity and insight based on ... what? (Bernstein: constantly negotiated) 1. these readings are C/F of knowledge 2. can also take C/F readings of knowers • collection code = -C, -F (of SR) • integrated code = +C, +F (of SR) – identity and insight based on being right kind of knower
  20. 20. www.legitimationcodetheory.c om 20 Specialisation Codes object subject knowledge epistemic relations (ER) social relations (SR)  ER and SR can each be stronger (+) or weaker (-)  Two strengths give specialisation code
  21. 21. www.legitimationcodetheory.com 21 Specialisation codes of legitimation ER+ ER- SR+SR- elite code knower code knowledge code relativist code
  22. 22. www.legitimationcodetheory.c om 22 Rewriting educational knowledge codes • collection code • +C, +F of knowledge = ER+ • -C, -F of knowers = SR- => ER+, SR- or knowledge code • integrated code • -C, -F of knowledge = ER- • +C, +F of knowers = SR+ => ER-, SR+ or knower code
  23. 23. www.legitimationcodetheory.c om 23 Designer interviews +ER -ER +SR-SR elite code knower code knowledge code relativist code ENGINEERING ARCHITECTURE FASHION DIGITAL MEDIA design is about application of knowledge to solve a problem design combines creativity with scientific knowledge, arts and science design is about the experience it evokes in its audience
  24. 24. www.karlmaton.com 24
  25. 25. www.karlmaton.com 25 Average, common person Likes: beach, BBQ Dislikes: Philosophy, nerds or sensitive people (Relativist Code) Methodic, practical, go direct to the point Likes: puzzles, manuals Dislikes: talking about Feelings (Knowledge Code) Combination of refined “eye” and technical knowledge Likes: scientific programs about the universe, art, Dislikes: common place (Elite Code) Feelings, how one experiences object, people’s person Likes: creative things, art Dislikes: following rules, Methodical people (Knower Code) Have advisor assigned according to your choice object
  26. 26. Developing Screenplay Adviser LCT Advisers Characteristics Roger/ Rachel Rules ER+ SR- “Hi, my name is Roger! I believe there is always a right way of doing things. I am a very practical kind of guy! I don’t like too much talking, I usually go straight to the point... but I will be very happy in helping you out to find the best solution for your design questions. People say I am very clever and skilful, but my brilliant ideas just come out of being methodical and careful in designing, and of course being interested in stuff and reading a lot. There is a lot of knowledge developed in design, so if you just follow the rules and procedures that have been tried and tested you are guaranteed to be successful. I like doing puzzles, crosswords, following manuals and instructions, reading scientific magazines. I don’t like “creative” stuff, big parties, and people who talk about “feelings” all the time.”