23 SES 10 C, International Policies - Local Affects: Regenerating the Sociology of Basil Bernstein
Topic: Over the last decade, Australian educational policies have focussed on reforming teachers’ work in disadvantaged public schools to improve low student attainment on international and national standardised testing data. Each of the policies is based on the assumption that improvements in teaching quality will directly lead to improvements in student learning attainment. Research Question: How do teachers working in disadvantaged public schools talk about the notion of the ‘good teacher’? What attributes are attached to this notion of a ‘good teacher’? What changes to talk about the ‘good teacher’ occur when teachers participate in a co-inquiry research project designed to reform teaching practices?. Theoretical Framework: Basil Bernstein (2000), in his theoretical work on pedagogic identity, drew on psychoanalytic terms such as ‘projection’, ‘introjection’, ‘narcissistic identities’, ‘splitting’, ‘desire’, ‘defence mechanisms’, and ‘paranoid schizoid position’ (Lapping, 2011, 2008). Yet, as Lapping (2011, 2008) has argued, although Bernstein (1996, 2000) appropriated and recontextualised such terms, he did not explain how his use of these concepts built on the work of Melanie Klein and Jacques Lacan (Lapping, 2011). In this paper, I build on Bernstein’s concepts of pedagogic identity, as well as psychoanalytic developments of Bernstein’s work (Lapping, 2011; Davis, 2005), to explore teacher subjectivity, particularly notions of the ‘good teacher’ as the therapeutic protector of students attending schools in culturally and linguistically diverse, high poverty communities in Queensland, Australia (see also Moss, 2015). The paper explores the guilt and mourning experienced by teachers as they confront and deal with their introjections, that is, the ways in which their internal constructions of the working class child may deny students access to powerful forms of knowledge
Bernstein, B. (1996). Pedagogy, Symbolic Control and Identity. Theory, Research, Critique. London and New York, Taylor and Francis. Bernstein, B. (2000). Pedagogy, Symbolic Control and Identity. Theory, Research, Critique. Revised Edition. Lanham, Boulder, New York, Oxford, Rowan & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Davis, Z. (2005). Pleasure and pedagogic discourse in school mathematics: a case study of a problem-centred pedagogic modality. School of Education, University of Cape Town. Doctor of Philosophy. Lapping, C. (2008). ‘Psychic defenses’ and ‘classificatory principles’: the development of a psychosocial methodology for investigating processes of production of knowledge. The Fifth Basil Bernstein Symposium. G. Ivinson, B. Davies and J. Fitz. University of Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. Lapping, C. (2011). Psychoanalysis in Social Research. Shifting Theories and reframing concepts. London, New York, Routledge. Moss, G. (2015). Bernstein and his legacy. Looking forward, looking back, University of London, Institute of Education, Seminar Presentation.
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