Recontextualising knowledge for lessons

Puttick, S. (2015) Recontextualising knowledge for lessons. Teaching Geography, 40 (1). pp. 29-31. ISSN 0305-8018

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This article builds on the descriptions of teachers’ journeys for knowledge previously presented in this journal (Puttick, 2014) by asking what teachers do with these sources of knowledge. There is a substantial tradition of discussing the transformation of (mainly disciplinary) knowledge into school curricula, a process described by Dewey as psychologising; by Bruner as conversion; and by Schwab as translation (Deng, 2007). Bernstein (2000) describes this movement as recontextualisation. Building on his work, social realism foregrounds the relationship between academic disciplines and school subjects, focusing on ‘the boundaries between schools and professional and academic “knowledge producing communities”’ (Young, 2009, p. 17). For the teachers in my study of three secondary school geography departments in England, the dominant sources are Google, YouTube, exam specification websites and textbooks, news websites, and departmental virtual shared areas. This wide range of ‘selections and arrangements ... creates a quite different animal to the discipline’ (Muller, 2009, p. 215). There are different ways of understanding the relationships between school subjects and academic disciplines (cf. Puttick, 2013, pp. 334–335), and concern has been expressed about the relationship between academic and school geography; there is a widely held contention that they are disconnected, separated by a chasm (Butt and Collins, 2013; Goudie, 1993). However, concern about this chasm is mainly based on evidence of formal representations of school geography. The notion of ‘disciplined judgement’ discussed below offers one way of introducing students to the ways in which powerful knowledge is produced, judged, and developed. Therefore, understanding more about recontextualising principles offers an opportunity to develop the relationship between school and academic geography through teachers’ own practice.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: School of Teacher Development
Depositing User: Dr Steven Puttick
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2016 16:34
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2019 14:19

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