Some certainties in the uncertain world of classroom practice: An outline of a theory of power relations in pedagogy

Year: 2002

Author: Gore, Jennifer

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper explores power relations in pedagogy and suggests some 'certainties' in the uncertain context of classroom practice. Drawing upon a Foucauldian analysis of power, past empirical studies of pedagogy, and a study of power and pedagogy conducted in four different settings, this paper outlines five theoretical propositions for the functioning of power in pedagogy. These propositions are that: pedagogy is the enactment of power relations; pedagogy proceeds via a limited set of specific techniques of power; bodies are the object/instrument of pedagogical power relations; the kind of knowledge produced in pedagogy interacts with the location of the site and the techniques of power employed there; in pedagogy, different differences matter. Each of these propositions is elaborated and implications are considered.