Poststructuralism and Pedagogy: Educational research, teacher education and practical theory

Year: 1995

Author: Green, Bill, Reid, Jo-Anne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Poststructuralism is no longer novel in the work of educational researchers and teacher educators, or in curriculum inquiry and praxis. Nonetheless its incorporation into educational discourse has been uneven and complex, and sometimes contradictory, and its institutionalisation can be viewed as somewhat of a domesticating move. It has also arguably entered more into the 'content' side of educational discourse than into the 'process' or 'methods' side, or as 'form'. In English teaching and language and literacy education, for instance, this is manifested in reconceptualisations of reading and writing and of texts and textual practice, and not so much in the realm of teaching and learning as such, whether in terms of the classroom or of teacher education. Yet it can be argued that teaching and learning, broadly conceived (as 'pedagogy'), is the organising frame for reading and writing (or 'literacy'), as first-order contextualisation for textual practice. This suggests that it is important to give more explicit attention, expressly in this case within the terms of what has been called the 'poststructuralist turn', to matters of pedagogy per se, and hence to notions such as programming and classroom organisation and management, conceived specifically as 'practical-theory'. A useful exemplar of this is small-group work, a productive though always ambivalent technology of curriculum and schooling.