A Theoretical Re-Assessment of the Use of the Distinction between Every Day and Academic Knowledge’s in Basil Bernstein’s Theory of Educational Transmissions

Mwiinga, Donald Muunze (2012) A Theoretical Re-Assessment of the Use of the Distinction between Every Day and Academic Knowledge’s in Basil Bernstein’s Theory of Educational Transmissions. Masters thesis, University of Cape Town.

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Abstract

This project assesses a popular position at present in the Bernsteinian subfield of the Sociology of Education, that Basil Bernstein’s main ideas are sufficiently represented by frameworks constructed around the distinction between everyday knowledge/thought and academic knowledge/thought. A survey of some contemporary literature within the Bernsteinian subfield was undertaken to generate a question for the project, i.e., whether it is indeed the case that the everyday/academic knowledges distinction is a productive condensation of the major ideas of Bernstein’s theory. A historical study of Bernstein’s papers from 1958 to 2000 is done, with the view of unearthing what it is that gives the theory its impetus over time. The theoretical and methodological implications of major categories generated by the theory over time are taken note of, with the view of relating them to the basic theoretical and methodological suppositions that are generated by scholars using the everyday/academic knowledges distinction. Hegel’s “logic of essence”, as spelt out in his Science of Logic, enable the partitioning of Bernstein’s corpus into a series of four phases, showing how the problem of the theory is realised in each phase and what the logic of the theory is within and across phases. The four phases are referred to as: (1) the linguistic thesis phase, (2) the code theory phase, (3) the pedagogic discourse phase, and (4) the knowledge structures phase. A major finding of the project is that the condensation of Bernstein’s work in the use of the everyday/academic distinction does not productively render either Bernstein’s major ideas or the interest twists in the logic of the theory, not least because the uses of the distinction can be read as deriving from a non-­‐Bernsteinian understanding of classification. The reframing of Bernstein in terms of the everyday/academic knowledges distinction ultimately amounts to a questionable retroactive reading back of that simplistic distinction onto his corpus of work, flattening out the theory and altering its developmental trajectory so that it moves in a direction away from the logic of evaluation, the latter being the culminating point of the third phase of the theory.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hegel’s Moments, The levels of the dialectic process, Some sociological determinants of perception
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BD Speculative Philosophy
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Divisions: Comparative
Jesuitica
Depositing User: JHI Africa
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2014 06:21
Last Modified: 12 May 2014 11:30
URI: http://thesisbank.jhia.ac.ke/id/eprint/81

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