In this article, I explore a set of pedagogic practices in a 'progressivist' classroom as practices of covert institutional regulation. I use insights from Foucault's work on modern institutional power as consisting of 'disciplinary technologies' (Foucault, 1977), and Bernstein's understanding of the classroom as 'pedagogic discourse' (Bernstein, 1990). Both theorists address the centrality of regulation and control over instruction and learning at schools. Specifically, I look at two of the classroom's 'good habits' as, at once, disciplinary technologies and pedagogic acts and I attempt to show how the instructional potential of the pedagogic act is, ultimately, subordinated to the regulative rules of the institutional context of the classroom; this means that, for the pupils, knowing how to act according to the classroom rules becomes more important than knowing the reasons and purposes of their activities
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