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Working class girls and child-centred pedagogy: what are the implications developing socially just pedagogy?

Hempel-Jorgensen, Amelia (2015). Working class girls and child-centred pedagogy: what are the implications developing socially just pedagogy? International Studies in Sociology of Education, 25(2) pp. 132–149.

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Existing international research suggests that widespread performative pedagogy has contributed to producing educational inequalities for ‘disadvantaged’ learners. There have also been calls for alternative pedagogies, which can be characterised as child-centred. This paper analyses pupils’ hierarchical positioning in a contemporary, mixed socio-economic, child-centred classroom using Bernstein’s theory of competence pedagogy and the concept of the ideal pupil. The ideal pupil’s central characteristics were perceived ‘intelligence’ and ‘good humour’, which were closely associated with middle class boys. Middle class and working class girls were positioned against a female ideal pupil, who would take on a supporting role by creating a facilitating environment for boys’ learning. While middle class girls were moderately successful in approximating these characteristics, working class girls were positioned at the bottom of the class hierarchy. These findings have implications for these pupils’ self-perceptions, and raise questions about the implications of child-centred pedagogy for social justice.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2015 Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1747-5066
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetRES-000–23-0784-AESRC
Keywords: social class; inequality; social justice; positional identity; child-centred pedagogy
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Education Futures
Item ID: 42606
Depositing User: Amelia Hempel-Jorgensen
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2015 12:07
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2020 21:18
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