chapter  7
Power, knowledge and symbolic control
Official pedagogic identities and the politics of recontextualization
Pages 25

The author foregrounds the relations between power and ideology in schools and society to show how these conduce to the knowledge form. Together with the pedagogic device, the relay or ensemble of rules and procedures through which the knowledge is converted into pedagogic communication and instantiated in the official knowledge of the curriculum. These constructs enable people to surface the covert processes through which schools, by appealing to a meritocratic social hierarchy, position students in their teaching of critical thinking. As people saw, in mainstream schools like Valley Point Secondary, critical thinking is taught in the context of instrumental skills for the knowledge economy, takes on externally-oriented profane meanings and depends on for its realization the fulfilment of contingent market exigencies. The author also discusses the dynamic relations between the organization of curriculum knowledge and the distribution of social power, principles of social control and unpacked the subjective consequences of all in terms of the symbolic control of identity.