Common Knowledge (Routledge Revivals)

The Development of Understanding in the Classroom

By Derek Edwards, Neil Mercer

© 1987 – Routledge

194 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415632942
pub: 2013-12-17
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415632911
pub: 2012-06-21
US Dollars$115.00

About the Book

First published in 1987, Common Knowledge offers a radical departure from the traditionally individualistic psychologies which have underpinned modern approaches to educational theory and practice. The authors present a study of education as the creation of ‘common knowledge’ or shared understanding between teacher and pupils. They show the presenting, receiving, sharing, controlling, negotiating, understanding and misunderstanding of knowledge in the classroom to be an intrinsically social communicative process which can be revealed only through close analysis of joint activity and classroom talk. Basing this analysis on a detailed examination of video-recorded school lessons with groups of 8 to 10-year-olds, they show how classroom communications take place against a background of implicit under-standing, some of which is never made explicit to pupils, while there develops during the lessons a context of assumed common knowledge about what has been said, done, or understood.

This wide-ranging study makes an important contribution to the current debate about both teaching methods and the structure of education. It is essential reading for educationalists and developmental psychologists and has a clear practical relevance to teachers and teacher trainers.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements 1. Introduction 2. Approaches to classroom knowledge and talk 3. An ideology of teaching 4. Ground-rules of educational discourse 5. Context and continuity 6. Ritual and principle 7. Communication and control 8. Conclusions and implications 9. Appendix: Outline of the research project

About the Series

Routledge Revivals

Are there elusive titles that you need and have been trying to source for years but thought that you would never be able to find?

Well this may be the end of your quest – here is a fantastic opportunity for you to discover past brilliance and purchase previously out of print and unavailable titles by some of the world’s most eminent academic scholars.

Drawing from over 100 years of innovative, cutting-edge, publishing Routledge Revivals is an exciting new programme whereby key titles from the distinguished and extensive backlist of the many acclaimed imprints associated with Routledge will be re-issued.

The programme draws upon the illustrious backlists of Kegan Paul, Trench & Trubner, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Methuen, Allen & Unwin and Routledge itself.

Routledge Revivals spans the whole of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and includes works by some of the world’s greatest thinkers including Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Simone Weil, Martin Buber, Karl Jaspers and Max Beloff.

If you are interested in Revivals in the Behavioral Sciences, please visit

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Educational Psychology
EDUCATION / Elementary