On examining the role of English education knowledge structures in pedagogic practices : case study of English educators in a higher education institution.
This study examines how English Education knowledge structures impact on pedagogy to serve students who are becoming English educators. The study investigates the English Education discipline within the School of Education, University of KwaZulu–Natal. The study responds to the critical question: how do English Education knowledge structures impact on pedagogy to serve students who are becoming English educators? This question seeks to uncover underlying structures, mechanisms and events at play in the English Education discipline, and how these inform knowledge structures to impact on pedagogy the way they do. The study is located on an interpretive research paradigm, and is framed within the Critical Realism (Bhaskar, 1978) and Social Realism (Archer, 1995) theories. These theories are used to critically engage with data by uncovering the underlying structures and mechanisms at play in the English Education discipline. The study further draws on Bernstein (1999) and Bourdieu (1986) as substantive theories used to develop a profound understanding of Knowledge Structures and Cultural Capital, respectively. Using qualitative methods of data collection, the study uncovers the role of a 2-Track System in the teaching of English Education students. Data collected in the study is analysed and critiqued to demonstrate how and why the structuring of English Education knowledge breaks away from unintended curricular impositions by the former University of Natal English Department’s curriculum. The study argues that the 2-Track System adopted in the English Education discipline is appropriate to serve students to be competent educators of English. Of paramount importance, data collected in the study also show how the structuring of English Education knowledge in the 2-Track System empowers and ‘give voice to’ the majority (Bernstein, 1999).