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Investigating Policy Processes and Discourses in Higher Education: The Theoretical Complementarities of Bernstein's Pedagogic Device and Critical Discourse Studies

Theory and Method in Higher Education Research

ISBN: 978-1-80043-321-2, eISBN: 978-1-80043-320-5

ISSN: 2056-3752

Publication date: 9 November 2020

Abstract

Building on the proposition that Bernstein's ideas are due for a revival in higher education research, the call for studies in which theory is put to use and for policy studies to engage in textual analysis, this chapter argues for the affordances of the theoretical underpinnings of Bernstein's pedagogic device and critical discourse studies in investigating connections between policy and practice. Drawing on the sociology of pedagogy and applied linguistics, this chapter aims to explore the theoretical complementarities of the chosen approaches for exploring how policy ideas move through time and space. A focus on the notion of recontextualisation enables an understanding of how influences beyond the discipline itself, including policy discourses, can shape learning, teaching and assessment practices. The illustrating case examines policy on learning and teaching and how these ideas are recontextualised from national policy through to institutional policy and individual practices. The critical or questioning angle of both approaches in seeing ideas, including policy, as never value-free but as situated within their sociopolitical context can shed light on how policy ideas make their way into universities and in whose interests.

Keywords

Citation

Horrod, S. (2020), "Investigating Policy Processes and Discourses in Higher Education: The Theoretical Complementarities of Bernstein's Pedagogic Device and Critical Discourse Studies", Huisman, J. and Tight, M. (Ed.) Theory and Method in Higher Education Research (Theory and Method in Higher Education Research, Vol. 6), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 147-165. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2056-375220200000006010

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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