ABSTRACT

Basil Bernstein's theory of the pedagogic device provides a sophisticated model of how different forms of knowledge are distributed to different social groups and via their recontextualisation and evaluation in pedagogic interaction cause the production of subjectivity in accordance with this distribution. Bernstein defines the pedagogic device as consisting of three rules that stand in a hierarchical relation to each other: the distributive rules, the recontextualising rules and the evaluative rules. The chapter analyses vignettes from two classroom episodes in order to better understand how the combination of institutionalised segregation in a streamed school system and social segregation in urban spaces affect the outcomes of the pedagogic device. The first vignette is typical of the pattern of classroom organisation throughout the three weeks of video recording. The second vignette represents one of the few instances in which the teacher deviated from this pattern.