chapter  5
Profane knowledge and instrumental rationality
Recontextualizing critical thinking in a mainstream school
Pages 24

The significance of Bernstein's theory lies in his claim that, taken together educational codes as instantiations of classification and frame values depict, at the societal level, the extant set of power relations and ideologies, and index at the level of the acquirer, the array of identities and competencies. To be sure, boundaries, or relations of relevance in the structuring and presentation of curriculum knowledge presuppose visions of social order, particular agents and ideologies that work at creating, sustaining and legitimizing them to dominant social groups. Bernstein's notion of the pedagogic device is the relay or ensemble of rules through which knowledge instantiate in pedagogic communication. In the language of Bernstein's codes, people might say that the infusion approach adopted realizes a weak classification of critical thinking. Besides the particular language skills students needed to possess, there was an insidious aspect of the hierarchical sequencing of knowledge that strengthens the boundaries between students and the critical thinking activity.