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Problematic representations of classroom practice in educational literature : discourses of pace

Cowley, Richard (2012) Problematic representations of classroom practice in educational literature : discourses of pace. In: British Educational Reserach Association Conference, 2012-09-04 - 2012-09-06, Manchester.

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Abstract

Educational research focussed specifically on pace is scarce. Pace is raised as something for teachers to be concerned about yet it is an ill-defined quality. However, the tension between allowing time for understanding and including all curriculum content is real. How is the term ‘pace’ used in representations of school classroom practice found in educational literature? What ways of representing school classroom practices are evident in the way the term ‘pace’ is used by authors? What are the implications for continuing engagement with the notion of pace in teaching? What are the implications for further research? A systematic review of literature searched for references to pace including: UK government reports since the early twentieth century; UK government school curriculum policy and advisory documents covering England; complete set of Ofsted reports of school inspections under section 5 of the Education Act 2005 from September 2009 to September 2011 covering the London area; a selection of national and international research in education and mathematics education. I draw on aspects of the framework for critical discourse analysis proposed by Chouliaraki and Fairclough (1999) perceiving a discourse-related problem to do with the term ‘pace’ in reflexive constructions of school classroom practice evident in representations of that social practice in a range of educational literature. Explanations in terms of Bernstein’s pedagogic device are conjectured with a view to proposing further ethnographic study of how teachers negotiate these discursive structures in practice. The review of government reports reveals a shift (c.1990) from emphasising pupils working at their own pace to a focus on pace of curriculum delivery in individual lessons so that fast delivery is assumed to lead to fast progress. This position is variously asserted and tempered in government advisory literature and by Ofsted whose reports have continued to use the term ‘pace’ to represent a range of aspects of classroom practice in a range of ways. These mixed discourses are found to be appropriated by some educational researchers as if assumed unproblematic. According to representations of them in research, teachers and pupils concern themselves with pace and related ideas in different ways. I argue there is a need for research into how teachers appropriate problematic representations of classroom practice; in this case, discourses of pace. CHOULIARAKI, L. & FAIRCLOUGH, N. 1999. Discourse in late modernity: rethinking critical discourse analysis, Edinburgh University Press.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2013 04:34
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 10:39
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