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LCT is being used to look at a range of issues in schooling, including:

  • Educational technology
  • English
  • History
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Science
  • Teacher training
  • Special education
  • School choice


A major evaluation of the Australian federal government’s Digital Education Revolution was undertaken for the Department of Education and Training of New South Wales by Sarah Howard, University of Wollongong.

This project has Specialisation at its heart, with a series of survey questions that develop those created by Lamont and Maton for their studies of subject choices and school Music. It involves a large survey of schoolchildren and schoolteachers, as well as case studies. The survey alone has generated the largest dataset ever generated within social realist or code theory sociology of education.

Howard, S.K. & Maton, K. (2011) Theorising knowledge practices: A missing piece of the educational technology puzzle, Research in Learning Technology 19(3), 191-206.

See also (in Educational technology):

Bennett, S. & Maton, K. (2011) Intellectual field or faith-based religion: Moving on from the idea of 'digital natives', in Thomas, M. (ed) Deconstructing Digital Natives: Young people, technology and the new literacies.  New York, Routledge, 169-185.

Bennett, S. & Maton, K. (2010) Beyond the ‘digital natives’ debate: Towards a more nuanced understanding of students’ technology experiencesJournal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26(5): 321-331.

Bennett, S., Maton, K. & Kervin, L. (2008) The ‘digital natives’ debate: A critical review of the evidenceBritish Journal of Educational Technology 39(5): 775-786.


Jackson, F. (2017) Plotting pedagogy in a rural South African english classroom: A Legitimation Code Theory analysis, Per Linguam, 33(2):1-21.

Anson, D. (2017) Examining the examiners: The state of senior secondary English examinations in Australia, Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 40(2): 135-145.

Jackson, F. (2016) Unraveling high school English literature pedagogic practices: A Legitimation Code Theory analysis, Language and Education, DOI: 10.1080/09500782.2016.1177070

Christie, F. (2016) Secondary school English literary studies: Cultivating a knower code, in K. Maton, S. Hood and S. Shay (eds) Knowledge-building: Educational studies in Legitimation Code Theory, London: Routledge.

Macken-Horarik, M. (2011) Building a knowledge structure for English: Reflections on the challenges of coherence, cumulative learning, portability and face validity, The Australian Journal of Education 55(3): 197-213.

Maton, K. (2009) Cumulative and segmented learning: Exploring the role of curriculum structures in knowledge-building, British Journal of Sociology of Education 30(1): 43-57.


The DISKS Project

J.R. Martin and Karl Maton explored the basis of cumulative knowledge-building in classroom discourse, focusing on secondary schooling. This gave rise to numerous innovations, such as 'semantic waves', and other studies. (ARC Discovery Project grant, $360K, 2009-2011, Freebody, Martin & Maton, Disciplinarity, Knowledge and Schooling: Analysing and improving integrated, cumulative learning in classrooms.)

The PEAK Project

Karl Maton, J.R. Martin, Len Unsworth and Sarah Howard. This study is exploring cumulative-knowledge building in school classrooms in greater detail, and including multimodal communication and educational technology. (ARC Discovery Project grant,  2013–16, Maton, Martin, Unsworth & Howard, Pedagogies for knowledge-building).

Papers are currently being written that use autonomy codes to explore knowledge-building in classrooms. A video of the following paper will be available soon:
Maton, K., Howard, S.K. & Lambrinos, E. (2016) Bringing It All Back Home: The art of building knowledge from diverse sources, Regional Seminar, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, April

Gill T., Maton, K., Martin, J.R., Unsworth, L. & Howard, S.K. (2013) Riding the next wave: Facing challenges for linguists posed by knowledge-building, ASFLA Annual Conference, Melbourne, October.

Martin, J.R. & Maton, K. (2013) (eds) Cumulative Knowledge-Building in Secondary Schooling, Linguistics and Education, 24(1): 1-74. (= the 'semantic wave' special issue in one download)

Martin, J.R. & Maton, K. (2013) Cumulative knowledge-building in secondary schooling: Guest editors’ prefaceLinguistics and Education.

Maton, K. (2013) Making semantic waves: A key to cumulative knowledge-buildingLinguistics and Education, 24(1): 8-22.

Martin, J.R. (2013) Embedded literacy: Knowledge as meaning, Linguistics and Education, 24(1): 23-37.

Matruglio, E., Maton, K. & Martin, J.R. (2013) Time travel: The role of temporality in enabling semantic waves in secondary school teachingLinguistics and Education, 24(1): 38-49.

Macnaught, L., Maton, K., Martin, J.R. & Matruglio, E. (2013) Jointly constructing semantic waves: Implications for teacher training, Linguistics and Education, 24(1): 50-63.

Martin, J.R. (2013) KEYNOTE: Exploring content: Building knowledge in school discourse, Teacher Learning for European Literacy Education, Madrid, October. WATCH TALK VIA LINK!

Humphrey, S. & Robinson, S. (2012) Riding the semantic wave to whole school literacy development, Australian Association for Research in Education Annual Conference, University of Sydney, Dec.

Martin, J., Maton, K. & Matruglio, E. (2010) Historical cosmologies: Epistemology and axiology in Australian secondary school history, Revista Signos 43(74): 433-463.

Freebody, P., Maton, K., & Martin, J. (2008) Talk, text and knowledge in cumulative, integrated learning: A response to ‘intellectual challenge’, Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 31: 188-201.

See also:

Bharath, P. (PhD, 2016) An Investigation of Progression in Historical Thinking in South African History Textbooks, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Matruglio, E. (PhD, 2014) Humanities’ Humanity: Construing the social in HSC Modern and Ancient History, Society and Culture, and Community and Family Studies, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Oteíza, T. (in press) Events and processes in the discourse of history: Disciplinary History and History classroom interaction, in Martin, J. R., Maton, K., Wang Pin & Wang Zhenhua (eds) Understanding Academic Discourse: Systemic functional linguistics and Legitimation Code Theory, Shanghai, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.


Kelly-Laubscher, R.F. & Luckett, K (2016) Differences in curriculum structure between high school and university biology: The implications for epistemological access, Journal of Biological Education


Doran, Y.J. (PhD, 2016) Knowledge in Physics through Mathematics, Image and Language, Dept of Linguistics, University of Sydney, Australia.

Doran, Y.J. (2017) The role of mathematics in physics: Building knowledge and describing the empirical world, Onomázein, March: 209-226.

Thornton, S. (2008) Speaking with different voices: Knowledge legitimation codes of mathematicians and mathematics educators, in: Goos, M., Brown, R., & Makar, K. (Eds.),Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia.  MERGA.


Doran, Y. J. (in press) The discourse of Physics: Building knowledge through language, Mathematics and image. London: Routledge.

Doran, Y.J. (2017) The role of mathematics in physics: Building knowledge and describing the empirical world, Onomázein, March: 209-226.

Doran, Y.J. (PhD, 2016) Knowledge in Physics through Mathematics, Image and Language, Dept of Linguistics, University of Sydney, Australia.


Córdova Jiménez, J.P., Melo, G., Bacigalupo, F. & Manghi, D. (2016) Olas de significado en la interacción profesor-alumno: análisis de dos clases de Ciencias Naturales de un 6to de primaria [Semantic waves in teacher-student interaction: analysis of two Natural Science lessons in 6th grade], Ciência & Educação, 22(2): 33550.

Kelly-Laubscher, R.F & Luckett, K. (2016) Differences in curriculum structure between high school and university Biology: The implications for epistemological access, Journal of Biological Education, 50:4, 425-441

Sturgiss, J. (2016) Science, Writing and New Dimensions, Journal of Professional Learning, Semester 2: 1-7.


Carroll, C. (PhD, 2017) Playing the field: An Australian case study of student popular musicians’ informal learning in senior secondary classroom music education, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney, Australia

Richardson, S. (PhD, ongoing) The Field of Jazz Education, Department of Sociology & Social Policy, University of Sydney, Australia.

Lilliedahl, J. (PhD, 2013) Musik i (ut)bildning: Gränsdragningar och inramningar i läroplans(kon)texter för gymnasieskolan, Diss, Örebro University, Sweden.

Lilliedahl, J. (2013). Musik i läroplanen & Läroplanen i musik [Music in curriculum & curriculum in music]. In: Varkøy, Ø. & Söderman, J. (eds) Musik för alla: Filosofiska och didaktiska perspektiv på musik, bildning och samhälle. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

Martin, J.L. (PhD, 2013) On Notes and Knowers: The representation, evaluation and legitimation of jazz, Discipline of Linguistics, University of Adelaide.

Martin, J.L. (2012a) The Jazz is strong in this one: Presentation and positioning of knowers in performance student texts, in Knox, J. (ed.) To Boldly Proceed: Papers from the 39th International Systemic Functional Congress, Sydney: ISFC.

Martin, J.L. (2012b) Instantiation, realisation and multimodal musical semantic waves, in Knox, J. (ed.) To Boldly Proceed: Papers from the 39th International Systemic Functional Congress, Sydney: ISFC.

Lamont, A. & Maton, K. (2010) Unpopular music: Beliefs and behaviours towards music in education, in Wright, R. (Ed.) Sociology and Music Education. London, Ashgate, 63-80.

Lamont, A. & Maton, K. (2008) Choosing music: Exploratory studies into the low uptake of music GCSEBritish Journal of Music Education 25(3): 267-282.

Maton K. (2007) Knowledge-knower structures in intellectual and educational fields, in Christie, F. & Martin, J. (Eds.) Language, Knowledge and Pedagogy: Functional linguistic and sociological perspectives. London, Continuum, 87-108


Walton, E. (2017) Inclusive education in initial teacher education in South Africa: Practical or professional knowledge?, Journal of Education, 67: 101-128.

Puttick, S. (2017) Student teachers' positionalities as knowers in school subject departments, British Educational Research Journal, DOI: 10.1002/berj.3314

Rusznyak, L. (2015) Knowledge selection in initial teacher education programmes and its implications for curricular coherenceJournal of Education 60: 7–29.


Sharon Aris (PhD, current) What Knowledge, Which Knowers: How parents choose high schools for their children, Department of Sociology & Social Policy, University of Sydney, Australia.


Konza, D. & Maton, K. (2006) Increasing the capacity of students with Asperger’s Syndrome to achieve across the curriculum. Australian Association of Special Education Annual Conference, Canberra, Sept-Oct.

Maton, K. & Konza, D. (2006) The curious incident of the Asperger’s student in the classroom: Theorising inclusion and differential subject achievement. British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Warwick University, September

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 January 2018 10:00