Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Why Teach This Bloke?

After much agonising I have changed my topic. My topic will now be:

SFX: Drum roll

Why teach this bloke?

(William Shakespeare - circa 1564-1616)

Bernstein and his pedagogic discourses are a great tool to analyse this issue as they can be used to explore how the language of the classroom (and the language of Shakespeare) can affect learners’ acquisition of meaning.For example in coding a number of students need to decode the contextual language of the class room as well as decoding the language of Shakespeare. And in addition Bernstein’s pacing and sequencing rules bring up questions such as; is this the right time to teach this content; are the students ready for the content and if not how are they going to catch up;

Whilst the language of Shakespeare alone is a good issue, I think that Bernstein is very limited in terms of focusing on the communication used in teaching and the intended goals/products of the teaching.

Most of my reading has been on Bernstein and Activity Theory (which to me also has a focus on goal/product) – I agree with Ahmet that there are a number of similarities between the two, and that they can work together. What I need is another analytical theory which can either:
1. throw away assumptions such as ‘Shakespeare is a classic’
2. analyse how Shakespeare is actually taught.

To do “1” enter stage left: Postmodern Critical Theory – however first I need to do some more reading.

“I wasted time, and now doth time waste me”William Shakespeare “King Richard II”, Act V, scene 5, line 49

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