Theorising knowledge practices: a missing piece of the educational technology puzzle

  • Sarah Howard
  • Karl Maton
Keywords: technology integration, Legitimation Code Theory, specialisation, knowledge practices, theory, secondary schooling, subject areas


Educational technology research has been characterised as lacking theoreticalframeworks that can enable cumulative knowledge-building across the field.This article explores the value of Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) for addressingthese issues by discussing research into the key question of integration ofinformation and communication technologies in education. Specifically, it showshow LCT enables the theorisation of knowledge practices, the basis of educationbut undertheorised by existing research. Drawing on a major study of a technologicalinitiative in all state secondary schools in New South Wales, Australia,the article illustratively uses one dimension of LCT to compare the organisingprinciples underlying the initiative with those underlying the key subjects ofmathematics and English. Analysis suggests that a ‘code clash’ with mathematicsand a ‘code match’ with English might help explain their different patternsof integration of information and communication technologies. It also demonstrateshow LCT can be utilised with multiple methods, enabling the integrationof research into a wide range of educational topics and thereby contributingtowards building knowledge across the field.



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How to Cite
Howard S., & Maton K. (2011). Theorising knowledge practices: a missing piece of the educational technology puzzle. Research in Learning Technology, 19(3).
Original Research Articles