Re: [xmca] article: Seeing No Progress, Some Schools Drop Laptops

From: J Mark Jackson <jmarkjacks who-is-at>
Date: Sat May 05 2007 - 17:01:37 PDT

I couldn't agree more Phillip that this phenomena begs for analysis from a
CHAT perspective. Certainly Engestrom's model provides a great tool here.

By looking at the different participants in the role of subject, placing the
laptops at the top in the mediating tools and instruments position, I am
sure quite different object/outcomes would emerge.Certainly identifying the
rules, community, and division of labor would be an interesting exercise as

Great time for a review of Nardi (1996).

----- Original Message -----
From: "White, Phillip" <>
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <>
Sent: Saturday, May 05, 2007 7:46 PM
Subject: RE: [xmca] article: Seeing No Progress,Some Schools
Drop Laptops

Clearly these teachers are unable to adapt to 21st century tools. It's
not the kids or the laptops, it's the educators and they view the
process and the tools.

What do you think?

      i think that it would help, Teresa, to look at this from a CHAT
perspective rather than deficit theory ("teachers are unable ...")

     afterall, we recognize that it doesn't help teachers to deal with their
own students when they use deficit theory - "kids don't have the
background knowledge" - "the parents don't care" - "the teachers before me
didn't do their job" etc.

     and it doesn't serve us as CHAT practitioners to explain social
activities through deficit theory - we need to begin with the assumption,
which i happen to think is correct, that for the most part teachers are
doing what they think they should be doing, and are attempting to both meet
the needs of their students as well as the laws in NCLB - which, similarly
problematizes teachers has replete with multiple deficits - "lazy",
"ignorant", "uncaring", "hiding behind corrupt unions", etc.

     one of the great tragedies of the 20th century in education is that
teachers has been demonized by the political left just as much as they have
been demonized by the political right - and this has done none of us any
good - clearly from a CHAT perspective teachers do not stand alone,
decontextualized, as the categorical statement "teachers are unable..."

     i think it woud help to have a CHAT perspective -


Phillip A. White, Lecturer
University of Colorado at Denver, Health Sciences Center
School of Education, Human Development
Teacher Education

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Received on Sat May 5 18:02 PDT 2007

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