Bernstein’s Code Theory and the Educational Researcher

  •  Leanne Cause    


This paper explores the applicability of Bernstein’s most recent development of his code theory to educational research. It is argued that by using his code theory as a theoretical framework of a project, one can provide a language of description from which to make explicit the ways in which knowledge is relayed through the curriculum, assessment and pedagogy within an educational organization. Although complex, for the educational researcher that is brave enough to invest the energy and time necessary to understand his work, his literature and empirical research provides a unique and very convincing way of viewing the ways in which society reproduces difference and social status through the relationships of the distribution of power, class relations, communication codes (restricted and elaborated) and the principals of control (1975, 1990, 2000; Dickinson & Erben, 1995).

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