School of Education

Inequitable interventions and paradoxical pedagogies

Inequitable interventions and paradoxical pedagogies: how mothers are ‘taught’ to support their children's literacy development in early childhood

A new article by Dr Helen Victoria Smith was recently published in the European Early Childhood Education Research Journal.


At a time when neo-liberal policy agenda are resulting in many public services being taken away from families with young children, this paper draws on Basil Bernstein's concepts of visible and invisible pedagogies to reveal how professionals offer ‘support’ to parents of young (under five years old) children in a small town in the East Midlands (England). It draws on findings from an ethnographic study which show that mothers are ‘taught’ to support their young children's literacy development differently depending on the way English education policy is interpreted and enacted in the places they visit. It is argued that dominant policy discourses around ‘good’ parenting can lead to inequitable interventions, paradoxical pedagogies and the disempowerment of some parents. The paper therefore contributes to the wider debate about more equitable ways of working with families that will be applicable across other contexts.

Please visit the publisher's website to read the full article.

Posted on Tuesday 10th September 2019

School of Education

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

Contact us