This paper examines the potential use of Basil Bernstein's theory of pedagogic discourse to develop a conceptual language for describing the talk and practices of secondary school teachers working in schools situated in low socioeconomic urban communities Specifically the paper draws on Bernstein's concepts of instructional and regulative discursive and social orders to analyse the professional-academic talk of a cohort of secondary school teachers about education for students in culturally diverse secondary schools situated in low socio-economic urban communities. The talk of the teachers is conceptualised as informational resources upon which they may draw in terms of planning and enacting classroom lessons. The paper also compares and contrasts three secondary school classroom lessons in terms of 'what' is taught, and 'how' it is taught. Specifically, the paper analyses the pedagogic identities made available to students through the arbitrary internal ordering of the pedagogic discourses in these three lessons. Implications for the differential distribution of knowledge and therefore acquisition of different types of pedagogic identities are discussed, particularly in light of ideological struggles over different pedagogies (progressive, critical, feminist, poststructural feminist and postcolonial) for students who have been educationally disadvantaged.