Schooling as a field of practice: Exploring teacher pedagogy and student learning in private secondary classrooms in the Republic of Guinea

Maletoungou Ganda, Sosthene Jean De Dieu (2023) Schooling as a field of practice: Exploring teacher pedagogy and student learning in private secondary classrooms in the Republic of Guinea. PhD thesis, Middlesex University / Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS). [Thesis]

PDF - Final accepted version (with author's formatting)
Download (6MB) | Preview


This empirical qualitative research contextually examines teacher pedagogy and student learning in classroom interactional practices in Guinea. It adopts a sociocultural perspective drawing from the theories of Bourdieu and Bernstein in the analysis of data collected from sixty-one participants in three secondary schools and two teacher’s colleges in the regions of Labe and Conakry. The results build upon the work of Bierschenk in ‘State at work in West Africa,’ and suggest that teachers act more as interface pedagogical agents in negotiating with the pressure of multiple tensions inherent to their practices. These include the competing interests of a heterogeneous body of pedagogical agents; contradictions internal to the national education policy in that, in theory, it desires an emancipatory education end served by Learner-Centred Education (LCE) methods, yet in practice, its bureaucratic structures and strong power relations create objective conditions conducive to a Bernsteinian performance pedagogy; and practical imperatives including resource limitations and large class sizes. Linked to their individual and collective habitus, teachers adopt a ‘defensive teaching strategy’ through lecture (L), teacher-led dialogue (TLD), bureaucratic procedural teaching (BPT), quizzes, problem-solving and individual and group assignment methods to meet various pedagogical expectations and secure their positions. These practices influence students’ perspectives about learning as conformity with expectations for academic success. Based on their context, many teachers and students commonly value learning as apprenticeship. The research concludes that teachers could be better partners in closing the gap for successful LCE pedagogical experiences if trained and empowered as interface pedagogical agents in light of the field’s realities. The wider implications of these findings include certain conditions for the applicability of Bernstein’s concept of competence pedagogy in Guinea and similar contexts, and the international policy imperative of learner-centred education.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Sustainable Development Goals:
Keywords (uncontrolled): Teacher pedagogy; Pedagogical practices; Student learning; Field; Private secondary school
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > Oxford Centre for Mission Studies
Item ID: 37579
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2023 10:48
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 12:24

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.