Keywords130106 Secondary Education
130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
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AbstractThis paper demonstrates how classroom trouble warranting teacher intervention can stem from transgressions in different layers of the complex moral order regulating classroom interactions. The paper builds from Durkheim’s treatment of schooling as the institution responsible for the inculcation of a shared moral order, Bernstein’s distinction between the instructional and regulative discourses in any pedagogic setting, and the concept of verticality in the instructional discourse to illuminate how curricular knowledge might apply across different contexts. This paper proposes a similar vertical dimension of moral gravity in the regulative discourse, such that some moral expectations apply across any context, while others are highly contextualized. This paper then applies this frame to data from classroom observations conducted in prevocational pathways for 16 years olds created under Australia’s “earning or learning till 17” policy. This paper describes the variety of moral premises teachers invoked in different teacher/class combinations, according to their level of moral gravity to display the dominant use of highly contextualized moral premises seeking institutional compliance, and minimal use of broader moral frames for these students on the brink of entry to the adult world.