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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

Bagley, C & Beach, D (2015). The marginalisation of social justice as a form of knowledge in teacher education in England. Policy Futures in Education 13(4): 424-438.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper utilises the analytical concepts developed in the work of Basil Bernstein to reflect on the ways in which discourses such as social justice are especially vulnerable in teacher education in England. In particular, under new-managerial regimes the forms of knowledge which are emphasised and valued focus on the instrumental and performative. As a consequence, critical and vertical forms of knowledge associated with social justice in teacher education are either absent or marginalised and reframed away from an appreciation and awareness of the structural and economic causes of inequality. Moreover, the criteria needed to effectively introduce social justice as a knowledge base in teacher education are positioned antithetically to neo-liberalism–neo-conservatism, making them arguably impossible to achieve within the current system of education in England.

School of Education