As I read Ruqaiya's nice analysis of mediate, my thoughts wandered to
Hegel (and Kierkegaard for that matter) and his use of the term.
Charles Taylor notes
In Hegel's usage we can speak of something as 'immediate' when it
exists on its own, without necessarily being related to something
else. Else it is called 'mediate.' If on the level of ordinary talk
and not of speculative philsophy I speak of somebody as a man, I am
speaking of him as something 'immediate,' for (at this level of talk
anyway) a man can exist on his own. But if I speak of him as a
father, or brother or son, then he is seen as 'mediate,' for his
being one of these requires his relation to someone else.
and was wondering how/if Vygotosky was influenced.
However, my interest was quite captured by Ruqaiya's last
paragraph as education is a place I where spend much of my thinking.
Especially the bit
Obviously, semiotic mediation can only succeed if the receiver
receives with understanding; a condition for understanding is the
recruitment of attention and engagement. Why should we expect that
pupils coming from distinct social positions will all have the same
notions of relevance, the same urge for engagement with the same
'knowledge'. Some effort is needed to create a way of meaning that
turns out to be meaningful to all, not just to those who come
pre-disposed to learn decontextualised knowledge structures.
Here she speaks about the 'receiver' and the 'recruitment of
attention and engagement.'
not knowing how to listen, neither can they speak. They are at odds with what
they have most continuous involvement
The Greek word legein means 'to say', but it also has the sense of
laying down or gathering together. Hence, listening, I think, has a
lot to to do with the ideational, the interpersonal, and the textual
aspects of saying. But, as Corradi Fiumara remarks (in the Other Side
In the readiness to understand there is precisely an effort to follow
up the inner consequentiality of someone's expressions: the
disposition that gives life to a 'listening event'.
So there is this critical business of 'engagement' and what might be
termed anticipation. This last has something to do with relevance,
but relevance sounds, given Corradi Fiumara, almost too bland and
there are times, it seems, when the seeming irrelevant or
unanticipated is what is engaging or has life.
Anyway, much of my time is spent trying to mix relevance and the
potential for engagement into mine and my students curriculum so
relevant :-) conversation and thoughts related to semiotic mediation
would be most helpful.
> much clipped
>The implied issue:
>This issue has to do with what is often offered by way of example as
>the paradigm examples of semiotic mediation relevant to the
>development of higher mental functions. I have maintained in both
>papers offered here for discussion that the examples are limited to
>knowledge of the kind that is relevant to "official" pedagogy such
>as logical reasoning, concept formation and so on. I would make two
>points: First, this emphasis on what counts as the most important
>materials for the making of developed minds is solely "ideational"
>in terms of Halliday; it is traditionally highly valued and has
>played an enormous role in our "exosomatic evolution". It dfinitely
>empowers manipulation and control of the universe. But this urge for
>control and manipulation has perhaps now become dysfunctional since
>it is being emphasised at the cost of our regard for the 'other'. If
>our conception of what constitutes "higher" mental function is
>limited to such phenomena of mental life and if this is accompanied
>by a disregard of the other, which is endemic to our educational
>systems -- in fact pretty much to our society as a whole -- then I
>fear that instead of evolution of the species, it may in fact
>push the human race towards the brink of extinction. The second
>point implied in this paper but developed a little more in the other
>(semiotic mediation in pluralistic societies...) is the relevance
>of paying attention to what is mediated completely unconsciously day
>in and day out in the life of young children and what therefore
>enters into the formation of their notions of what counts as
>relevant. Obviously, semiotic mediaiton can only succeed if the
>receiver receives with understanding; a condition for understanding
>is the recruitment of attention and engagement. Why should we expect
>that pupils coming from distinct social positions will all have the
>same notions of relevance, the same urge for engagement with the
>same 'knowledge'. Some effort is needed to create a way of meaning
>that turns out to be meaningful to all, not just to those who come
>pre-disposed to learn decontextualised knowledge structures. While
>saying this, I realise that there is a very strong trend whereby to
>talk of difference is more culpable than to participate in
>perpetuating difference, which we all do, willing or unwillingly.
>Over to you all!
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