Defining the future: an interrogation of education and time

Sandra Leaton Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines notions of ‘educational time’ with particular reference to the work of Basil Bernstein. It focuses closely on the 1967 Plowden report as a particularly appropriate policy case study to demonstrate how different constructions of time can exist within the same document. It then develops educational models originally mapped out by Bernstein, arguing that a full understanding of the areas of consensus and conflict among these models is vital if we are to understand how teaching professionals think about the future. The paper addresses the following questions: How does time affects education? What influence does this have on educational outcomes? How does this relate to public policy initiatives? Assuming a tacit, collective understanding of time and the future can undermine the very policy intentions a government might be seeking to promulgate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-340
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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