Wednesday, 16 July 2014

First SOTL@UJ Seminar: Maton - The link to epistemological access

The SOTL at UJ - Towards a Socially Just Pedagogy has its first seminar on Thursday 17 July at 11.00 am in tutorial room 4, UJ Library. Ria Vosloo is going to talk about how the work of Maton on the Legitimation Code Theory is useful for discussions on "epistemological access", the term popularized by Wally Morrow to refer to students' access to knowledge and thus academic success, as opposed to mere physical access to higher education institutions (Morrow, W (2007) Bounds of Democracy: learning to teach in South Africa. Cape Town: HSRC Press). The abstract follows below.

Abstract for Ria's presentation

Maton – The link to epistemological accessWhen trying to understand knowledge and knowledge practices, it is not enough to only consider knowing. Knowledge is both social and real. A social realist view on knowledge includes both the relations to knowledge and the relations within knowledge.  Carl Maton (2014, p. 11) states this quite elegantly that “knowledge practices are both emergent from and irreducible to their contexts of production –the forms taken by knowledge practices in turn shape those events”. 
Maton’s Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) provides a conceptual toolkit and framework to analyse and describe knowledge and knowledge practices. LCT draws on the work of Basil Bernstein and Pierre Bourdieu.  It is important to realise that LCT has been developed over many years, and that arguments presented in previous work may have been refined or extended in later work. This building of knowledge has occurred through what Maton (2010) refers to the as coalitions of the mind where the sharing of information in a specific epistemic community influences the building of new knowledge and knowledge practices. In turn, the sharing of the specific knowledge created by Maton also influenced the building of new knowledge by other members of the epistemic community.
 Understanding what knowledge is created, pedagogised, taught and learned has implications for social justice. When considering a socially just pedagogy there are two aspects of Maton’s (2014) work that immediately comes to mind. The first is that understanding and describing the knowledge and knowledge practices is an important part of considering epistemological access. This is then linked to the second aspects: that of recontextualising the knowledge through selection, arrangement and transformation to become pedagogic discourse.   

Maton, K. (2010). Canons and progress in the arts and humanities: Knowers and gazes. Social realism, knowledge and the sociology of education: Coalitions of the mind, 154-178.

Maton, K. (2014). Knowledge & knowers: towards a realist sociology of education. Routledge.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this I wasn't aware of this strain of research, outside of Shalem and Slonimsky's 2010 paper “Seeing Epistemic Order: Construction and Transmission of Evaluative Criteria”. Very interesting application of LCT to further social justice in education.