[xmca] Vygotsky-text-context-thinking

From: Shirley Franklin <s.franklin who-is-at dsl.pipex.com>
Date: Tue Jul 08 2008 - 13:08:10 PDT

Hi Eric,

I agree with Vygotsky!

I am fascinated that he wrote this because I am/was writing a rather
abortive PhD on precisely this theme.

I was/am interested in applying a Vygotskian approach to learning (of
scientific concepts) to learning the academic literacy "frames" that
are required within and across the different disciplines and within
the range of writing required - reports, essays, etc. ie applying
Vygotsky to e Shirley-style Genre Pedagogy, drawing on Vygotsky and
Halliday et al, both in different ways.

But I also agree with those like Scribner and Cole and Street when
they say that writing is shaped by and reflects culture . However I
agree with Vy when he says that the process of writing itself
develops thought. ie as I write this, it scaffolds my thinking about
the issue. You asking me the question, and me having to reply in the
form of a Shirley-email (mode) within the XMCA context (field and
mode) makes me further develop my ideas on the topic.

I admit that when I noticed that I was replying to the xmca list I
was somewhat more nervous, and will re-edit this more than I would
have done (tenor) because it is going to the whole list. Does that
process mean I refine my thoughts even more???

I hope this makes sense to you!


On 8 Jul 2008, at 20:51, ERIC.RAMBERG@spps.org wrote:

> Shirley:
> The best reference for this is A.R. Luria's 1976 publication,
> "Cognitive
> development: its cultural and social foundations.' IN this book Luria
> describes the literaqcy studies conducted by Luria and Vygotsky.
> Unfortunately this was during a bout of bad health for Vygotsky and I
> believe LSV was not on site for the entirity of the study. As a
> result of
> the data Vygotsky theorized that literacy was the key to humans
> developing
> higher psychological functions. This has since been discounted by the
> cross-cultural studies conducted by Cole, Glick, Scrobner and others.
> what do you think?
> eric
> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> cc:
> bcc:
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Vygotskyan approach to mental health -
> socio-genetic roots of mental diseases and psychotherapeutic semiotic
> mediation.
> Shirley Franklin <s.franklin@dsl.pipex.com>
> Sent by: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu
> 07/08/2008 10:17 AM CET
> Please respond to "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <font
> size=-1></font>
> Eric,
> I would be interested to hear more about what you consider to be
> Vygotsky's misunderstandings of literacy and its effect on higher
> mental functions.
> As far as I am aware he didn't write much more than a few pages on
> this. What he wrote was rather interesting.
> What do you think is the problem?
> Shirley
> On 7 Jul 2008, at 14:47, ERIC.RAMBERG@spps.org wrote:
>> Peter;
>> I believe as a consumer of mental health services you fall under
>> the axiom
>> "highly qualified" to discuss the issue. I believe Vygotsky's
>> error in his
>> theories on defectology are similar to his misunderstanding of
>> literacy and
>> its effect on higher mental functions. My humble opinion places
>> this error
>> in Vygotsky's marriage to marxism and the march towards the 'better
>> man',
>> but that is certainly a subject for another time. Whether there
>> be an
>> error in theorizing or not Vygotsky's contribution to the study of
>> special
>> education is HUGE. If one thinks of the augmentation utilized
>> these days
>> by students who have disabilities it is specifically what Vygotsky
>> viewed
>> as a broadening of the social mileau and semiotic offerings. I
>> have many
>> more thoughts on the subject but time is short and usually people
>> have
>> other things, such as the new XMCA article, to discuss.
>> eric
>> "Peter
>> Smagorinsky" To: "'eXtended
>> Mind, Culture, Activity'" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>> <smago@uga.edu> cc:
>> Sent by: Subject: RE: [xmca]
>> Vygotskyan approach to mental health - socio-genetic
>> xmca-bounces@web roots of mental
>> diseases and psychotherapeutic semiotic mediation.
>> er.ucsd.edu
>> 07/06/2008 07:24
>> AM
>> Please respond
>> to "eXtended
>> Mind, Culture,
>> Activity"
>> I have some very tentative thoughts on Vygotsky's approach to mental
>> health, extrapolated from what I've read in the Cambridge
>> Companion to
>> Vygotsky, particularly the chapter by Kozulin and Gindis. I should
>> qualify
>> my comments by saying that I have no scholarly credentials for
>> making this
>> interpretation; mental health is not my field of study. At the same
>> time,
>> I've personally dealt with mental health issues; Asperger's, high
>> anxiety,
>> tourette's, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other neuroatypical
>> makeups
>> have run in my family for at least 3 generations, including through
>> me. So
>> I do have a vested interest in this discussion, if little in the
>> way of
>> formal knowledge.
>> The field of defectology had origins in a mechanistic mindset that
>> viewed
>> non-normative children as having flaws that could be repaired in
>> the manner
>> of a broken-down car engine. Rather than taking the mechanistic
>> approach
>> that children with special needs were defective and could be fixed,
>> Vygotsky viewed the question of their condition "as a
>> sociocultural rather
>> than an organic or individual developmental phenomenon" (p. CCV,
>> 334).
>> Kozulin and Gindis find that
>> "The essence of Vygotsky's approach to remedial education is in
>> addressing
>> the secondary disability, that is, by countering the negative social
>> consequences of the primary disability. Vygotsky believed that
>> physical and
>> mental impairment could be overcome by creating alternative but
>> essentially
>> equivalent roads for cultural development. By acquiring the
>> psychological
>> tools, disabled children transform their natural abilities into
>> higher
>> mental functions as do their nondisabled peers." (CCV, p. 345)
>> To Vygotsky, rather than "fixing" the "defect" in the child,
>> an educator
>> should strive to minimize or eliminate any environmental factors
>> that could
>> amplify the effects of the original point of concern. I imagine
>> that this
>> effort might focus on diminishing whatever stigmas follow from being
>> different; that is, it might attempt to educate people in the
>> setting about
>> how to view those with non-normative physical or mental makeups and
>> treat
>> them respectfully and in light of their potential. A second
>> approach would
>> be to broaden the sign-and-tool systems available for mediation.
>> Again,
>> this tack would require changes in the environment so that new
>> tools become
>> sanctioned, and new approaches to assessment become available to
>> allow for
>> alternative paths to performance.
>> I would guess that he would regard "mental illness" the same way he
>> would
>> view other forms of "disability": not so much as defective parts
>> that need
>> repair, but as non-normative ways of being that call for new activity
>> systems.
>> (12) From Achilles
>> Vygotskyan approach to mental health - socio-genetic roots of mental
>> diseases and psychotherapeutic semiotic mediation.
>> "He (Vygotsky) did not believe in meaningless defect or
>> retrogression:
>> since the construction of the human mind follows a certain pattern,
>> its
>> destruction also cannot be arbitrary and therefore reveals specific
>> rupture
>> lines characteristic of the formation of the human psyche. That is
>> why
>> observations of the acquisition of language in the deaf-mute, concept
>> formation in schizophrenics, and the rehabilitation of aphasics
>> were for
>> Vygotsky no less a part of developmental psychology than the
>> sensory-motor
>> behavior of the two-year old." (Alex Kozuin, Vygotsky's
>> psychology ? a
>> biography of ideas, 1990 ? p. 195)
>> I want to study Vygotsky´s theoretical contributions to Mental
>> Health: (1)
>> mental diseases theoretical and methodological comprehension; and (2)
>> therapeutics dialogical practices, in a cultural-historical
>> approach. And I
>> asked here on the existence of English translation from
>> "Проблема развития
>> и распада высших психических
>> функций", because I wish to translate it to
>> Portuguese but not if it exists in English. Mike Cole suggests
>> reading
>> Luria, and Akhutina and Rodina. Very important suggestions, I will
>> study
>> Akhutina and Rodina, and search another references by Luria than
>> the ones I
>> have here (more in "classical science" style, than in the
>> "romantic
>> science" books, maybe the ones what I need, I don't know). But,
>> what more
>> can you suggest to me about the "vygotskyan approach to mental
>> health -
>> socio-genetic roots of mental diseases and psychotherapeutic semiotic
>> mediation"?
>> Thank you very much.
>> Achilles,
>> Umuarama, July 5, 2008.
>> (11) From Mike
>> Luria-- Also check out Akhutina and Rodina article at LCHC. And ask
>> on XMCA
>> to see what comes up/mike
>> (10) From Achilles
>> I remember that there was a vygotskyan metaphorthat 'a building
>> does not
>> tumbling down, by anotherlaws that ones it was constructed' (not
>> exactly
>> this words,I quote by core)- maybe quoted by Kozulin, I don't
>> exactlyremember high now. Seems to me a important methodological
>> principle,
>> but I haven't seen much empirical work raised in it, in mental health
>> historical-cultural research, if you could help me with this to, I
>> will be
>> very greatfull too.Thank you again, very much.Achilles,Umuarama, 04
>> July,
>> 2008.
>> (9) From Mike
>> Yes, i firmly believe that.very important.mike
>> (8) From Achilles
>> Thanks...I had writed about my interest in othermail before read
>> this.Do
>> you think that 'raspada (desintegration) problem'can help us
>> understand
>> some questions to mentalhealth in historical-cultural
>> approach?Achilles,Umuarama, July 4, 2008
>> (7) From Bella
>> Why italian? I sent you the Russian text- here it is once
>> more.Mike, we
>> just recently discussed problems of translation. If you want it tobe
>> published in English, it would be reasonable to use the original
>> Russiantext.Sincerely yours Bella Kotik-Friedgut
>> (6) From Mike
>> Whoa!! here is the article for Poalo in Italian!! I have sent to
>> Pentti
>> fortranslation in JREEP/mikePS-- Thanks BorisЛегче найти
>> на итальянском:Il
>> problema dello sviluppo e della disintegrazione delle funzioni
>> psichichesuperiori // La psicologia sovietica 1917-1936. Roma: Edit.
>> Riuniti, 1976.P. 330-347.С уважением,
>> (5) From Mike
>> No need to apologize for your English at all, Achilles!You provide
>> a great
>> reference in Kozulin's book that should be accessible to readers of
>> XMCA,
>> and in the article from Vygotsky reader. Abrigado!:-)mike
>> (4) From Achilles
>> Joao, Eugene and Mike,
>> The original text, in Russian we have in Russian Wikipedia, but the
>> link
>> seems to be broken. But I have downloded it before. (atached here)
>> I wonder that the 'raspada' (disintegration/decay) problem is
>> related not
>> only to the defectology matters, but to the pathopsychology's too
>> (like
>> schizophrenia and Pick's disease
>> - Kozulin presents this question in 'Vygotsky - a biography of
>> ideas' (cap.
>> 6 ? Mind in Trouble - section Psychopathology and Regression); And
>> there is
>> a Vygotsky´s article in the Vygotsky Reader about 'Though in
>> Schizophrenia'
>> (I translate to Portuguese); the text about Pick's disease by
>> Vygotsky,
>> Samukhin and Bierenbaum 'K voprosu o dementsii pri bolezni Pika -
>> klinitcheskoe i eksperimen- tal'no issledovanie' we find only in
>> Russian
>> too, Joao obtains it here in the list and pass to me), but I don't
>> know
>> yet. I can try translate the Russian 'Problema razvitia i raspada
>> vyschikh
>> psikhitcheskikh funktsii', aided by dictionaries and another on-line
>> translation tools, trying to learn Russian psychological
>> vocabulary, but if
>> Eugene did it, its better.
>> Thanks. Excuse me about my wrong English writing, ok? But I think
>> that I
>> can understand you very well, even so.
>> Achilles
>> Umuarama, July 4, 2008
>> (3) From Mike
>> Hi Joao & Eugene--
>> I do not know of this article in English, although probably we can
>> get it
>> translated if it is not. Meantime, I can recommend two sources that
>> should
>> help:
>> Vygotsky, L. (1993). The collected works of L.S.Vygotsky. Vol.2: The
>> fundamentals of defectology (abnormal psychology and learning
>> disabilities)
>> (R.W.Rieber & A.S. Carton, Eds.). NY: Plenum Press.
>> and
>> Katarina Rodina's article which can be found at lchc as follows:
>> http://lchc.ucsd.edu/MCA/Paper/VygotskyDisabilityEJSNE2007.pdf
>> AR Luria's work should be relevant in several places.
>> Perhaps our Russian bibliophiles can come up with an origanal for
>> translation?
>> mike
>> On Thu, Jul 3, 2008 at 3:58 AM,
>> (2) From Joao
>> Dear friends... somebody has this text in english:
>> 'Problema razvitia i raspada vyschikh psikhitcheskikh funktsii'
>> Thanks
>> Joao Martins
>> (1) Achilles para João
>> Eu também teria outro favor para te pedir. É de perguntarna tua
>> lista XMCA
>> (é isso?), sobre haver ou não o seguinte textoem inglês. Em russo
>> eu já
>> tenho e quero traduzir (vai ser maisrápido que o do Pick), mas se
>> já
>> existir em outro lugar, nãohá necessidade. É o seguinte:'Problema
>> razvitia
>> i raspada vyschikh psikhitcheskikh funktsii''Problema do
>> desenvolvimento e
>> desintegração das funções psíquicassuperiores.'Será que já se
>> encontra esse
>> texto em inglês ou espanhol?
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Received on Tue Jul 8 13:10 PDT 2008

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