Describing forms of knowledge and their variations in French école maternelle: the contribution of Bernstein’s concepts

Abstract : This chapter examines forms of educational knowledge and their variations in French école maternelle classrooms (children aged three to six years). Empirically speaking, this study highlights the way different forms of schooling practices produce different learning outcomes for different early years students. Theoretically speaking, this study highlights the relevance of intersecting two dimensions: (i) the forms of knowledge mobilised in the classrooms through the concepts of horizontal and vertical discourses (Bernstein, 2007) and their reconceptualisation as semantic gravity by Maton (2013); and (ii) the modalities of their transmission through the concept of pedagogic framing (Bernstein, 2007). I show the descriptive usefulness of these concepts to highlight the different forms of knowledge in classrooms at the level of their presentation by the teacher as well as at the level of their comprehension by the students. The final discussion focuses on the way the modality of pedagogic activities dis/allows differential forms of knowledge for redressing learning outcome disparities between students.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01310141
Contributor : Ariane Richard-Bossez <>
Submitted on : Sunday, May 1, 2016 - 11:39:34 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 9, 2019 - 10:08:45 AM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-01310141, version 1

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Ariane Richard-Bossez. Describing forms of knowledge and their variations in French école maternelle: the contribution of Bernstein’s concepts . Pedagogic Rights and Democratic Education. Bernsteinian explorations of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment, Routledge, 2015. ⟨halshs-01310141⟩

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