Teaching, teacher formation, and specialised professional practice

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23 Citations (SciVal)


This paper starts by exploring the relevance of Bernstein’s work on vertical and horizontal discourses and the constitution of professional knowledge for conceptualisation of the knowledge needed for teaching practice. Building on arguments for the differentiated nature of knowledge, and drawing on the work of Winch, Young and Muller on expertise, and the sociology of the professions, this paper advances a conception of teaching as a ‘specialised professional practice’ that requires the support of particular socio-epistemic arrangements and conditions embedded in professional communities. Prevalent notions of teaching and teacher education that find favour in some European countries are examined in the light of these arguments, with particular reference to recent reforms in England.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-444
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Teacher Education
Issue number4
Early online date3 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2015


  • Bernstein
  • recontextualisation
  • teacher expertise
  • teacher formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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