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Social Class and Pedagogic Practice
Basil Bernstein
Chapter 7
Pedagogic Practice
Examine social class assumptions and
Traditional vs. progressive 
relationship to the marketplace
• Social form
• Specific content
Reproduction of class inequalities
Acquirer and transmitter learn their roles
and appropriate conduct
• what and how of transmission i.e. rules of
social order, character and manner
Acquirer comes to understand what is
legitimate relations and communication
• moral activity  an evaluation of the
competence of the acquirer
• tracking and pedagogical practice:
visible  external product
invisible pedagogy  process,
procedures, competencies
Visible Pedagogy
• sequencing rules are explicit
• Time limits; less exposure
• pacing rules  expected rate of acquisition
• modification  stratification and reduce
• Limits teacher  student interaction
** distributes different forms of consciousness
according to social class
** result  alienated youth
Invisible Pedagogy
• presupposes movement in the classroom
• encourages individual representations i.e.
“make your mark”; foster “unique”
• Multi-layered communication
• Preparation/foundation for a long
pedagogic life
Result: class based communication
• **Two sites of acquisitions
home  silent space, language
narrative (form and content)
• **Working class children misread
cultural/cognitive significance of
communication in the classroom 
consciousness is differentially regulated
• Invisible social class assumptions
• Selective re: those who acquire dominant
codes especially socio-linguistic
• Working class  facts, skills
• Middle class  processes, connections
** Reproduction of class inequalities