Re: everyday? and smagorinsky et al interesting twisted path

From: Peter Smagorinsky (
Date: Sun Oct 10 2004 - 12:13:08 PDT

Peg, thanks for mentioning this paper. In addition to this tech report, it
was published in slightly different form as:
Smagorinsky, P., Cook, L. S., & Johnson, T. S. (2003). The twisting path
of concept development in learning to teach. Teachers College Record, 105,

At 12:34 PM 10/10/2004 -0500, you wrote:
>In relation to Roth's mention of "everyday activity," I am wondering if
>It is apparently a later version of a paper given at the 2002 ISCRAT and
>is available on line:
>I am quoting here the abstract in case it will incite enthusiasm about
>having a (or another) discussion of it (unless of course the first author
>says he'd rather take it away and have something else in its place):
>"Teacher education is often viewed as too theoretical and not sufficiently
>concerned with the realities of classroom practice. From this perspective
>theory and practice are cast as distinct realms whose only connection
>comes when theory influences practice. We argue that the theory/practice
>dichotomy lacks the richness of Vygotsky's notion of concepts, in which
>abstract principles are interwoven with worldly experience. More
>specifically, Vygotsky distinguishes two types of concepts, spontaneous
>concepts and scientific concepts. Spontaneous concepts are learned through
>cultural practice and, because they are tied to learning in specific
>contexts, allow for limited generalization to new situations; scientific
>concepts are learned through formal instruction and, because they are
>grounded in general principles, can more readily be applied to new
>situations. Vygotsky argues that while spontaneous concepts may be
>developed without formal instruction, scientific concepts require
>interplay with spontaneous concepts; hence the problematic nature of the
>theory/practice dichotomy. He further identifies two types of
>generalization that approximate concepts yet do not achieve their
>theoretical unity: complexes, in which some members of the set may be
>unified with others but all are not unified according to the same
>principle; and pseudoconcepts, in which members of the set appear unified
>but include internal inconsistencies. We argue that teacher educators
>should strive to teach concepts, though the overall structure of teacher
>education programs makes it more likely that their students will learn
>complexes or pseudoconcepts. We illustrate these problems with examples
>from case studies of teachers making the transition from their teacher
>education programs to their first jobs."
>----- Original Message -----
>From: <>Wolff-Michael Roth
>To: <>
>Sent: Thursday, October 07, 2004 4:01 PM
>Subject: Re: a link re Roth's other work
>By the way, the book "Rethinking Science Education" has activity theory
>inscribed throughout, though we don't make a big deal out of it. But my 4
>chapters use Engeström kind of analyses, and Angie's chapters are also
>marked by their neo-Marxist take on what science might be like when we
>thought of it as everyday activity, in which students can participate, so
>that really what we have to do is tear down the walls that lock kids
>away... Something like it.
>On 7-Oct-04, at 1:03 PM, Sophie Alcock wrote:
><?fontfamily><?param Arial><?color><?param 0000,0000,FFFF><?smaller>Than
>you Peg. The book by Slobin (referred to in this review) also sounds
>inspiring. This sort of take on science sounds so much more relevant,
>meaningful and fascinating than my school recollections of text books, the
>periodic table and...<?/smaller><?/color><?/fontfamily>
><?fontfamily><?param Arial><?color><?param
><?fontfamily><?param Tahoma><?smaller>-----Original
>Tahoma><?smaller> Peg Griffin
>Tahoma><?smaller> Friday, October 08, 2004 4:05 AM<?/smaller><?/fontfamily>
>Tahoma><?smaller> a link re Roth's other work<?/smaller><?/fontfamily>
><?fontfamily><?param Arial><?smaller>Here's a link to
><?/smaller><?/fontfamily><?fontfamily><?param Times New Roman>Richard
>Frazier's new review of "Rethinking Scientific Literacy." by Wolff-Michael
>Roth and Angela Calabrese Barton.<?/fontfamily>
><?fontfamily><?param Arial><?color><?param
><?fontfamily><?param Arial><?smaller>Peg<?/smaller><?/fontfamily>
><?fontfamily><?param Arial><?smaller>Peg Griffin<?/smaller><?/fontfamily>
><?fontfamily><?param Arial><?smaller>329A Cloverdale
><?fontfamily><?param Arial><?smaller>Montgomery, AL
><?fontfamily><?param Arial><?smaller>(334) 265-4468<?/smaller><?/fontfamily>
><?fontfamily><?param Arial><?color><?param
><?fontfamily><?param Arial><?smaller>Research Affiliation: Laboratory of
>Comparative Human Cognition<?/smaller><?/fontfamily>

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