Application of Basil Bernstein’s Classification and Framing to Zambia’s Early Childhood Education Policies on Play Vis-â-Vis the United Nations Convention on the Rights for Children Articles 28 And 31

  • Mwansa Mukalula Kalumbi University of Zambia
  • Victor J Pitsoe
Keywords: Classification, Play, Early Childhood Education Policy, Rights of the Child


The aim of the study was to assess how educational policies and practices have provided for play in early childhood education (ECE) in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) Article 28 (1) and 31 using Basil Bernstein’s classification and framing. This study departs on the Bernstein’s (1975) assumption that the concepts of classification and framing are useful “for the analysis of transmitting agencies”. With this in mind, this study problematises ECE policy and play in line with the UNCRC Articles 28 and 31 as both a philosophical and sociological problem. The findings presented a shifting construction of discourses owing to conflicts, lack of understanding and competitions pointing alluding to power struggles which characterise policy. The findings were of particular interest with regards to the classification and framing of problematising play in ECE policies in line with the UNCRC. The intertextuality among the policy texts was strong in unison with the UNCRC thereby having weak classification and framing of play in ECE presenting integrated codes. This made it difficult to sustain and protect the discourses on play practices in ECE.