Essay on Pedagogy, Knowledge and Society

Topic 2: A considerable amount of work within the Bernsteinian frame considers the relationship between the school and the home, or the ‘first’ and ‘second sites of acquisition’. Outline the central arguments made in relation to how children are differently positioned for success at school. Drawing on the theoretical insights, and in relation to an institution where you work or with which you are familiar, describe how issues of students’ preparation for school manifest at the level of the school, and how the school does or doesn’t address these issues. About half your essay should focus on discussing the theory and half should focus on your application of the insights to an institution.

In this essay I look at theories of parents and education and the relationships between home and school. My focus is based on children who begin reading and writing since they would like to join others who appear to be gaining enrichment. In the sociology of schooling we have similar aims and found that we too had common interests. I have chosen the work of two good learners and two weaker ones. In describing their work it allows us to see whether their writings are rich with meanings. Issues will be addressed within class discussions and parent meetings. More importantly, I examined how various theorists position the subject of their inquiry within the domains of power. Also I follow links of the nature of theories, the framing of questions, different methodologies and what knowledge is in relation to how children are differently positioned for success at school. That will be a main goal of this work.

At the beginning of the school year I familiarise myself with the social and cultural background of each learner as well as the forms of authority and communication particular to each learner’s family. Drawing on observations of the working-class and poor families in my class, learners are differently positioned for success at school. The disadvantaged families have plenty of time but little economic security whereas middle-class parents engage in a process of drawing out their children’s talents and skills. The working-class and poor families rely on the accomplishment of natural growth in which a child’s development unfolds spontaneously–as long as basic comfort, food and shelter are provided. Each of these approaches to childrearing brings benefits and drawbacks.
I found that pedagogies that define more visibly the relevant knowledge i.e. strong classification and pedagogies that inform learners in more detail of the performance expected of them i.e. strong framing are more effective in allowing learners from disadvantaged social classes to succeed.
From the child’s point of view, school looks different from either the educators’ or their parent’s point of view. One would say that each layer of meaning is segmented for example educators differ in their ideologies of education, parents differ in their social class identities and learners differ in their interpretations of the experiences of schooling.
Bernstein is driven by a sense of social justice and outrage at the continuing deformation of life chances by the pedagogic device. His theory shows how the language people use in their daily conversation reflect and shape assumptions of a certain social group. Relationships within the social group affect the way that group uses language and the type of speech that is used. He argues that ‘a child’s semiotic interactions within the family – the site of primary socialization – will take subtly different forms depending on the social positioning of the speakers.’ (Bernstein 1971:p. 66 in Painter: Preparing for School)

What are Schools for?
Although educators play a vital role in initiating and sustaining classroom activities, they rely on learners to contribute in substantial ways to the quality of order and accomplishing learning achievement. It is when the educator lacks the skills in teaching the curriculum or when learners lack the ability to follow and fulfil the requirements, that social order is threatened. We find that the disciplines of knowledge run into difficulties and continue to produce a crisis for knowledge and its disciplines.
According to Ball (1993) the craft element of an educator’s work has increased since the introduction of the National Curriculum and the imposition of national testing in schools. With the introduction of national testing related to a national curriculum, parents are able to scrutinize and contrast school test results. This raises the possibility of comparisons with educator performances
In the continued research process for curriculum integration the disciplines of knowledge is a useful collaborator. The curriculum integration is a way of thinking about what schools are for, what are the sources of curriculum and the uses of the acquired knowledge. It is the search for self and social meaning.
When we as educators act as facilitators to teach within the framework of curriculum integration we firstly encourage our young learners to integrate learning experiences into ways of meaning so that their understanding of themselves and their world can be broadened.
Secondly the learners engage themselves in looking for, acquiring and using the knowledge in an organic way. Knowledge is the context of interests, problems and issues relevant to daily life and lived experiences. As human beings we know that life has limitless boundaries of the disciplines of knowledge and therefore a context uses knowledge in ways of making meanings that are integrated.

An Empirical Research
Children are quick to differentiate what activities adults’ value by taking note of the amount of time they devote to them. Those children who have enjoyed reading a good story should be encouraged to share their experience with others. One way is to give a book review.
The book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory published in 1964 and in celebrating its fiftieth anniversary in 2014, I decided to challenge my learners to read the book and write a report.
I gave them some encouraging tips when reading the book
‘ to keep their beady eyes open like Benny Bookworm
‘ a few writing tools ‘ pencils, crayons and stacks of paper to jot down ideas
‘ just start writing ‘ let the ideas flow
‘ if you’re stuck read the book, chapter or relevant pages again
‘ use a thesaurus and dictionary
I encouraged them that their writing should be purposeful and enjoyable expressing all their feelings. My chief concern was to provide the necessary amount of support to the learners without being over directive. In general I provided quite specific guidelines for the main writing task and then gave extra ideas to encourage the learners to branch off in their other directions.
Learning objective:
‘ To develop creative and critical thinking skills
‘ To be able to organise their information in a logical manner
Learning outcome:
‘ To produce a flow diagram in preparation for a longer piece of creative writing.
‘ Educator models an example of a flow diagram
‘ Reading mom reads chapter 22 to the class

‘ Divide the learners into groups of six at a table.
‘ Allocate each group a room that Mr Willy Wonka rushes by (Edible Marshmallow Pillows, Lickable Wallpaper for Babies’ Nurseries, Hot Ice Creams for extremely Cold Days, Cows that give Chocolate-flavoured Milk).
‘ Groups also invent other rooms that could be in Mr. Willy Wonka’s factory and imagine incredible incidents that could take place there.
‘ Groups choose a leader who presents their ideas back to the class
‘ Educator asks class to imagine that they are going to the factory and can choose which rooms to go in.
‘ Educator models an example of a flow diagram showing all the different outcomes that happen as the reader progresses through each room and makes different decisions.
‘ The children make their own A4 page flow diagram of all their different decisions and outcomes that could happen when they go into the different rooms.
This flow diagram will be used to plan for a longer piece of creative writing. Some outcomes could have a horrible end while others could have happier endings. Firstly, I will identify the learning outcomes, namely the intellectual skills, cognitive strategies, verbal skills and attitudes to be acquired by individuals. Secondly, for each learning outcome, I will identify the factors that make a difference to instruction. These factors were based on models of learning from cognitive psychology and how information is processed. The intrinsic factors are essentially concepts and skills acquired previously by the learners as well as mental processes used to develop new concepts and skills based on the recall of previous knowledge and skills. Extrinsic conditions of learning take the form of instruction designed for acquiring particular learning outcomes.
What fascinated me most was when the learners questioned life about cows and their origins. A brief biology discussion took place and in this instance the learners were provided with the opportunity to ways of thinking that could make them more enlightened citizens. The South African school curriculum before 1994 ignored evolution because it conflicted with the religious beliefs of the government. Both curriculum statements emphasize the need to recognize alternative ways of knowing, including faith-based and indigenous knowledge systems. If I deny my learners meaningful access to higher-order concepts and ways of thinking, I will ‘endanger the social justice imperative which frames the entire National Curriculum Statement ( Dempster, E. & Hugo, H.(2006) p. 108).
Evans’ research indicates that by adopting an evolutionary explanation it will be related to natural history knowledge. In order to answer their question: Where do cows come from? Learners were afforded the opportunity to achieve the necessary cognitive structures to adopt an evolutionary explanation. To their delight the learners successfully researched on They read that cows that were brought to the Americas by explorer Christopher Columbus in the year 1493 originated from two extinct wild beasts from India and Europe.
The available e-learning technologies at school and in the more affluent homes impact on learning outcomes. The more advantaged learners have an elaborated code and those from disadvantaged areas have a tendency towards a restricted code of language.
I would agree with Bernstein that there are changes in Technology that bring about new educational classes e.g. psycho-dynamics and bio-genesis. By motivating learners to research one might only hope that they will pursue these scientific directions and not drop out of schooling. My role as educator is to manage the learning context and allow the learners to actively construct meaning by themselves. Competence pedagogy is considered an invisible pedagogy since both the evaluative criteria and the control over pedagogy is implicit.

How does experiences and forms of learning influence children?
Babies take in sensory experiences from the world around them from the moment they are born. Their environment is a powerful influence on their behaviour patterns throughout their lives. Genetics also have a powerful influence on their development, but their experiences are equally important. The genetic code contains millions of information on how the brains of children might be pre-wired but it is the forms of learning and experiences that will ultimately shape how the brains of children grow and develop.
Some of the theories of psychology focus on the reasons why experiences are so important and how it shapes the behaviour of children and their personalities. Three major theories that describe and explain how children learn are namely:
‘ Classical conditioning which is a type of learning whereby one is involved in making an association between a stimulus and a response. Children learn constantly by developing associations between things in their environment and the potential consequences thereof. In the flow diagrams this was evident. Children who are exposed to violence or grow up where there is a lack of their basic needs may portray poor academic results. For example in Learner Fatih’s background history: His parents are separated and in conflict with one another ‘ there is a sense of a hostile environment. Relationships in his home are emotionally bleak and he is rather withdrawn and solitary.

‘ Instrumental conditioning is a type of learning when the children’s behaviour is rewarded and the chances are that the same behaviour is likely to take place again in the future. When the behaviour is punished, it becomes less likely that it will happen again in the future. For example, when a learner is rewarded for good writing achievements, a smiley face is stamped on her worksheet so, she is more likely to repeat the same good writing skills later on. Parents might take a child for a treat at Milky Lane or Mac Donald.

‘ Learning by observation: Children learn a great deal from just watching their parents, peers and siblings. Even the behaviours they see on television, video games they play and messages from the internet can impact their own thoughts and actions. Because this type of learning is so powerful, it is important to check that children are watching the right kind of behaviours. Both parents and educators by checking on the appropriate responses of children can be sure whether they are learning how to act responsibly. For example by modelling a good flow diagram of Cows that give Chocolate-flavoured Milk the learners could work independently on their own writing diagrams and produce interesting stories.

Some children might receive enriched childhood experiences from parents who are responsible and attentive. These children most often are more secure and capable of coping with challenges. Other children might receive less attention since their parents have issues worrying about money, work situations or relationships. These experiences have a dramatic impact on children’s stages of development. Children feel insecure and unable to cope with life’s challenges.
Do schools reproduce existing social inequalities?
School makes up an enormous part of a child’s life. Do educational systems provide equal opportunities for all children to achieve based on their merits? Many believe that ‘Schools would be critical to a modern era where merit, talent and effort would replace privilege and inheritance as the most significant factor for social and occupational mobility.’ (Sadovnik, Cookson, & Semel, 2006, p.20)
Both educators and peers play a major role in making up children’s experiences and academics and learning also leave their mark on development. Children with barriers to learning should receive quality interventions in order to allow them to overcome difficulties and achieve their full potential.
Recent educational policy documents in South Africa emphasise a Quality Assurance model for professional education ‘No child shall be left behind. One of the principles is that educational quality improvement must be at the centre of all efforts geared towards success.
There are many different influences that can play a role in how a child grows and the adult they eventually become. The culture that a child lives is another element that affects their growth. While Western cultures tend to focus more on individualism, Eastern cultures tend to focus more on collectivism meaning that the needs of the community as a whole over the needs of each individual are greater. These differences can lead to dramatic instances in how children are raised. Parents from Western cultures might stress the importance of their child developing a strong sense of self-esteem and independence, while parents from Eastern cultures might focus more on how their child can contribute to the family unit and to society as a whole.
No matter what the child’s surrounding culture might be, the strategies that parents use are designed to produce children who can meet the goals and expectations of the culture in which they live. Let’s look at two hypothetical examples of how culture can influence development. Child A is born in a hostile crime community in the townships where resources are scarce, while Child 2 is born in a leafy suburb area to an affluent couple. Clearly, the first child is going to grow up with different expectations than the child raised in an upper-class environment.
One aspect of Bernstein’s theory is the claim that, ‘in families of higher socio economic status, patterns of parent-child linguistic interaction will, from the earliest years sensitize the child to kinds of meanings relevant for later school learning ‘ for dealing with what has been termed ‘educational knowledge.” (Bernstein1971:p.66 in Painter: Preparing for School).
During the early years Child A’s parents might focus on basic protection and survival needs such as providing warmth and food. As the child grows older, teaching practical skills and helping the child gain hands-on experience might become more important. The flip side of the coin could be being shot down in gang violence or even attacked at school. Government or state-aided schools in all nine provinces of South Africa are dominated by disruptive school and classroom behaviours. The legacies of Apartheid, combined with disruptive student behaviour as well as the daunting uncertainties about curriculum reform continue to impact negatively on educator performances and learner achievements. Ultimately it is a phenomenon that is referred to as the ‘collapse of a culture of teaching, learning and service’.Davenport:1980:349) .
Because Child B’s parents worry less about basic needs, their focus will be more on lifestyle ‘purchasing the best toys and allowing their child to participate in the best play group might be paramount importance. As the child grows older, the parents might shift their focus to making sure their child is enrolled in the most respected schools and attains the best possible grades. Child B’s culture suggests that the ultimate goal is to go to university or college and one day get a prestigious job. This parent needs to be knowledgeable about the way the school operates and its ideology of education. This is done by visiting school-organized meetings, receiving gleaning impressions from their children, contextual clues from the work brought home and talking with other parents.
Bernstein’s Sources of consensus and disaffection in education (1975) considers the relation between the family and school in accordance with the two orders of meaning, namely the instrumental and expressive. His concern is how the school grants learners access to other ‘styles of life and modes of social relationships’ (1975: 37).
Studies on the effects of schooling show the constraint of social class background on achieving at school. However, classroom studies conducted within a Bernsteinian frame are also starting to demonstrate how schools can make a difference through modes of pedagogic practice that interrupt the reproduction of educational inequality and lead to the success of all students (e.g. Morais, 2002; Rose, 2004). Such pedagogies are mostly characterised by strong framing over external selection and evaluation criteria and weak framing over pacing and teacher-pupil relations (as summarised by Muller & Gamble, in press).
Gamble and Hoadley in Positioning the regulative support the significance of strong framing over the evaluative criteria. However their information does not allow that only personal social relations between transmitters and acquirers make possible an entry of working class learners into the verticality of school knowledge. The aim is to question the possible inductive proficiency of positional modes of control. These claims would need rigorous empirical examination so they base this assertion on a general acknowledgement of shifts in the way Bernstein conceptualises the regulative (Singh, 2002; Davis, 2005; Muller, 2006) and Bernstein’s earlier work which connects these shifts to corresponding changes in empirical referent e.g. the home, school, curriculum and in the classroom. This leads us to comprehend why is it that personal and positional control relations that are derived from early socio-linguistic thesis have become the standard interpretation of hierarchy in the classroom even though there are other versions of the regulative at school level and curriculum as outlined in the pedagogic device.

Conceptions of regulative discourse
The expressive order of the school refers to behavioural activities such as conduct, character and mannerisms and its function is ‘to bind the school together as a distinct moral collectivity’ (Gamble & Hoadley (1975: 38-39). The conceptualizing of the moral is Durkheimian and Bernstein draws particularly on Moral Education (2002).
Following this line, Bernstein’s Sources of consensus and disaffection in education (1975) considers the relation between the family and school in the understanding and acceptance of the instrumental and expressive order. His concern is with the role of the school in giving learners an access to other lifestyles of social relationships. Regardless of the function of the family, the school is an independent force in defining the role of the pupil. At school the child is exposed to rituals, assemblies, authority relations, stratification and procedures for learning. The conduct, character and manner can modify the learner’s role even though this has been initially shaped by the family lifestyles. There are seven grades at our school and each one elaborated and dramatised on topics such as punctuality, bullying and pollution at various assemblies. Drama groups are invited to the school where they dramatise on topics such as The Read Family and the focus on books. Therefore the consensual rituals under the expressive order facilitate learners to be detached from the family and attached to school ultimately towards verticality. Bernstein argues that the function of consensual rituals is to ‘facilitate the transmission and internalization of the expressive order of the school, create consensus, revivify the social order within the individual, deepen respect for and impersonalise authority relations’ (Gamble & Hoadley 1975: 65).
The reason why Bernstein’s theories are so relevant and important is because he presents education as a social right and not as a privilege. Bernstein raises the challenge
how people can live together in so-called knowledgeable societies, in which symbolic control and social production and reproduction are synonymous with power and control.p.1

With measures of accountability transmitted under the School Improvement Accountability Frameworks, the school and their educators are legally charged with their tasks. Bernstein’s model of transmission context (2000) allows a description of the political context within the written discourses of government policies. It also demonstrates that power and control is differentially distributed between the transmitter and acquirer in the pursuit to create text that is contextually suitable.

familiar with the social and ethnic background of each
4178505 Illustrations ?? Quentin Blake


Curriculum documents that create achievement objectives in relation to levels of schooling endeavour to establish norms and standards for what learners should know and be able to do at different levels. These one size-fits-all ladders of outcomes are abstract and are in disrespect of research analysts since they suggest that a child’s literacy development is anything but linear, rather highly context specific. With documents such as these in place, the potential is always there for the outcomes to become into standards against which pupils would be measured. The Grade 3 Literacy results improved from 57.7% in 2012 to 61.1% in 2013. The results are used to measure the educators and schools performances and are published in the form of tables.

At our school we engaged in a number of activities to improve our results. These included new teaching strategies based on the ANA and Language results. A ‘buddy system’ was created which included both learners that were excelling and struggling in order to assist one another. In New Zealand this potential has been realised by a mixture of political furtiveness and governmental bullying. Curriculum levels were used to develop standards of achievement that were required to be reached at the end of the school year in reading and writing. These were introduced despite the educators complaining about too much assessments and not enough teaching time.

In South Africa there are major interruptions due to the many public and school holidays. Learners come back with unruly behaviour, disrupting the school programme and many are late due to extended holidays. The work that has been taught is somehow forgotten. Some schools are still refusing to co-operate due to too much red tape, crime, poverty and sickness. There is no quick fix when it comes to improving quality education. The Western Cape Education Department is remaining positive since annual systemic language test results make allowances to evaluate the reasons for any decreases and to formulate new strategies to improve on the results. Schools are visited by District staff for a joint analysis of their results with the senior managers. Each school is asked to submit improvement targets determined by principals in consultation with the relevant district office.

Defining the Curriculum:

To Bob Lingard an issue of importance to educators and researchers is the way education policies are shaping and developing the hegemony of standards in education policy discourse. One of the most powerful elements of policy is the high-stakes assessment

Lingard (2012) advocates that sociological attention be paid to the message systems of schooling which are the curriculum, pedagogies, and evaluation.

His study analysis shows how developments reduce the concern of social justice in education, deny the impact of growing inequalities y on learners’ education and school performance . In so doing focus the gaze of policy unremittingly on teachers is focussed on in a myopic, decontextualised way. The paper will conclude by arguing the need to rethink a socially just mode of educational accountability and the ways to move towards its achievement.

Children are quick to differentiate what activities adults’ value by taking note of the amount of time they devote to them. Those children who have enjoyed a reading a good story should be encoued to share their experience with others. One way is to give a book review.

English is a difficult language with lots of exceptions to common rules. Just when learners are taught to add an ‘s’ to make a word plural or to add ‘ed’ to make the past tense of a verb, they have to start learning that there are many exceptions to the rules. These are reflected in their writings
One big reason learners make spelling mistakes is because they’re not hearing the words correctly. There’s a slight difference in pronunciation as well.
Changing tenses in the middle of a paragraph.
What it sounds like:
‘A boy named Charlie Bucket live in a small house there were five people who lived in the house.’
Why it happens:
This grammar mistake is actually more common in writing than it is verbally, although it occurs in both cases. Many times learners simply don’t keep track of what tense they started with when telling a story and switch halfway through.
How to fix it: When the learner is finished writing, repeat the sentences that didn’t sound quite right. Ask her to listen to see if she can grasp how it doesn’t sound right. If she’s unable to hear it, reframe the sentence with the correct tense and give an explanation how each tense should be used. Parents spend a lot time prompting children to use the personal pronoun ‘I’ when the word ‘me’ is used in a singular sentence. Often children will overemphasize this correction and think it means that every time they refer to themselves they must use the word ‘I.’

Marking Students’ Written Work with Correction Codes
I use a correction code when marking written work so that the learner can do some self-correction. The table below shows some possibilities of symbols.
Mark Error Indicated
/ A word is missing
/ Start a new sentence
// Start a new paragraph
Gr Grammar error
Sp Spelling error
P Punctuation error

Wo Wrong word order

Wt Wrong tense

? Unclear

Mark Error Indicated

I do this by circling the error and giving it a short “code.” This page will be a “cheat-sheet” for my grammar codes. Learners can check to find out what the codes mean and get instruction on how to fix the problem.

CS=Comma Splice
A most common mistake that I find in writing. It is a type of run-on or fused sentence. It is the use of a comma between two independent clauses.
R-ON=Run-on Sentence
I use this code when two sentences are next to each other with no punctuation or when the sentences are written so long and unwieldy and sounds clumsy.

In order to pass the quality test for your book review, follow the below mentioned guidelines:
1. Mention the name of the book, the author and your personal quality rating of the book.
2. The ‘Personal Quality Rating’ is a score that you give to the book on a scale of 0 to 7 based on your personal liking ordisliking of the book. 0 is bad and 7 is great!
3. Ensure that your book review is between 80 to 100 words. A review that is less is likely to be too short for readers to achieve any valuable insight from it.
4. In the Summary section give a small brief of the story or plot of the book. Make this brief and please do not reveal the entire plot. Keep the suspense alive for the next reader of your book or you will kill your reader’s interest in reading the book.
5. Lastly, mention your personal feedback to the book. This is the part that makes your review so exciting.
KeepK Keep an eye on grammar and spellings while writing.

Bernstein defines the Curriculum as the principle by which units of time and its contents are brought into special relationship with each other. He defines Classification as the measure of boundary preservation between the contents. A subjects-based curriculum which Bernstein called a collection type has strong classification, whereas a theme-based curriculum he called an integrated type and therefore has weak classification.

Framing was defined as ‘the degree of control teacher and pupil possess over the selection, organisation and pacing of the knowledge transmitted and received in the pedagogical relationship’ (1971, p. 46).
Bernstein’s most significant contribution to curriculum theory was in two areas. The
first was his identification of curriculum control in relation to power. For example, he
contends that only a select few lea Teachers were found to allocate much more
instructional time and effort to grammar and vocabulary than to other language skill
components. A number of factors were found to influence teachers’ practices:
washback, culture of teaching, inadequate time, students’ low English levels, and lack
of equipment and materials.

What is significant is the suggestion that standards-based reforms have the potential to transform pedagogical practice in a positive way
An example is by encouraging the uptake of a communicative Competence model of the second-language instruction, in this case Afrikaans. However, such improvements cannot occur without an equivalent restructuring in the learners’ examination system.

Additionally, other educator-related and contextual problems need to be addressed
such as empowerment for these learners to create new actualities as part
of the understanding that knowledge is permeable and provisional.

The second
significant contribution was his explanation (or perhpas advocacy) for a move to the
J. Pandya, D. Wyse & B. Doecke Editorial: English teachers’ work in an era of standardisation
English Teaching: Practice and Critique 3
institutionalisation of weak classification and framing through integrated codes,
particularly at secondary level. The main reasons offered for the move to weak
classification and framing were recognition that higher levels of thinking were
increasingly differentiated; that more flexibility was required in the labour force; the
need for more egalitarian education; and the need to make sense of major societal
problems related to power and control.

I suggest that the movement away from collection to integrated codes symbolises that
there is a crisis in society’s basic classifications and frames, and therefore a crisis in
its structures and power and principles of control. The movements from this point of
view represent an attempt to declassify and so alter power structures and principles of
control; in so doing to unfreeze the structuring of knowledge and to change the
boundaries of consciousness. From this point of view integrated codes are symptoms
of a moral crisis rather that the terminal state of an education system. (p. 67)

Movement to integrated codes stem from a technological source. Movement away from collection to integrated codes symbolises a crisis in society’s basic classifications and frames therefore a crisis in its structures of power and principles of control. The movement attempts to declassify and alter power structures and principles of control and in so doing unfreezes how knowledge is structured and changes the boundaries of consciousness. Young pg 67 Integrated codes are symptoms of a moral crisis rather than the terminal state of an educational system.

The knowledge of orientations to meanings of these nine year old learners was remarkable. After reading and assessing their delightful reviews I selected two excellent samples and two weaker writing samples.
‘The key to pedagogic practice is continuous evaluation’ (B. Bernstein ’96:50)

Sociologists have developed an analytic framework for researching stories based on the relationship of institutional discourses on the one hand and everyday happenings on the other. The goal is the sociological understanding of formal and lived texts of experience that shows the practices, production and communication of happenings.
In evaluating the learners’ results I found that it was challenging for learners to recall the story and make decisions based on stories with meaning, than to recall loads of data. This is one reason why narratives are so powerful. Humans read meaning into data and create stories, even where this is unnecessary. In narrative investigation one applies the usual methodical checks for validity and reliability in how data is collected, analyzed, and presented. Several criteria for assessing the validity of narrative research is proposed, including the objective characteristic, the emotional characteristic, the social/moral characteristic and the clarity of the story.

Partnership activities that involve educators, parents and learners engage, guide, strengthen and encourage learners so that they create their own success. The overarching theme is that groups empower the schooling of children and provide individual learners the resources and motivational frameworks to choose successful strategies. Through good design of programs and practices, the human and social resources that we want to result from school and family partnerships can be produced. The answer lies at what level the institution is which invests opportunities and resources and at which level the individual learner is who must benefit from that investment through his or her own efforts.

People involved with Schools are responsible for designing inclusive strategies for partnerships. Below a model depicts six types of involvement that educators could use to achieve those goals.

Main Types of Family Involvement
Type I
The Role of parents and their responsibilities Basic structures of support for health & safety, food, shelter, parenting skills and child minding, family activities to support children learning
Type II
The Role of the school is to communicate effectively with families about various activities and learner progress From School to home
From Home to school
Type III
Parental Involvement at school Reading moms, Sports Committees, Feeding scheme,Tuckshop, Uniform and Lost Property
Type IV
Family involvement in learning activities at home Skills to pass the grade, help on homework, National Curriculum
Type V
Participation in decisions, leadership, and school sponsorship School Governing Body; Pupils, Parents Teachers’ Support Group,
Type VI
Collaborations and Interactions with the Community
Links to enable the community to contribute towards the school, learners and their families
Links to enable school, learners and families to contribute to the community e.g. reading at the Children’s Homes
The strong programs of partnership include all aspects of these types and they are not shown hierarchically. The above model also aims at what parents can do to support the efforts of their children through information focussed on by the school.
Both parents and educators have a large stake in the children’s success. No one would disagree but conceptualizing and putting into operation the links between the home and school is an enormous task. In lots of ways policymakers, practitioners and researchers who have explicit ideas about the rights, roles and responsibilities of participants in education have described programs as well as practices that augment parental involvement in school-related programs.
These links that are constructed between practices and outcomes for the various stakeholders are essential. These works are highly realistic and forms alternatives to existing relationships between home and school. In dissimilarity, other scholars read the communications of parents and educators to shed light on the underlying extent of power and ideology. Rather than leading straight to policies or practices, they present ways of problematizing the status quo that can entail new ways of thinking.

In Assessment practice I used AFL and it made engaging with the young learners so much easier. My learners love it and more importantly, they learn more efficiently! The acronym AFL stands for Assessment for Learning which is a set of techniques that help educators and learners to assess progress while learning and make the necessary adjustments. Learners become aware of what, why and most importantly HOW to learn in order to become successful. They take responsibility for their learning.
One of the magical AFL techniques is another acronym: WALT could be a robot and her name means What Are we Learning Today? Her job is to ask learners questions at the start and end of the lesson instead of giving them a theme. The questions always start with Can you’ and refer to what we want the learners to be able to do at the end of the lesson.
My learners and I love WALT because since we started using this magical technique the learners stopped having this kind of dialogue with their parents:
Mom: So what did you learn in your Literacy class today?
Child: Umm, nothing!
Instead they say: ‘We learnt 10 new words from chapter 22 , we listened to each others’ dialogue about Charlie and Mr Wonka and I completed the gaps!’

One cannot ignore the structure of a system, including the Hierarchy or roles that people play ‘ administrators, educators, support staff and non-support staff, parents and of course the learners ‘ classroom and school design, various types of schools and how the curriculum is structured. Nor can we ignore the school’s environment, which consists of groups, organisations, other institutions and even the global society outside the school, all of which influence school functions. At whatever level we study the educational system of a society, processes are at work. These are the action parts of the system, bringing the structures alive. Teaching, learning, communicating and decision making as well as those activities that socialize and stratify students into larger life roles are the dynamic parts of the educational system. Education and other institutions are interdependent in a society. Change in one brings about the change in others. The family’s attitude towards education will definitely affect the child’s experiences of the school.
Unfortunately most theoretical perspectives have limitations and most research studies focus on only parts of the whole system. The open systems perspective looks at the educational system as a whole integrated and dynamic entity. The figure below refers to the common characteristics of educational settings:


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Bernstein, B. (1971). A socio-linguistic approach to socialisation: with some reference to educability. Class, codes and control, volume 3. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
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