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Re: [xmca] Gratier, Greenfield, & Isaac

Sometime in the late twentieth century, literary critics made the discovery that all the qualitative methods developed for the exegeses of literary texts could be readily applied to so-called "non-literary" texts. This included biographical, formal, "new criticism" based on the text itself, and a plethora of more or less committed approaches like feminism, multiculturalism, postcolonialism all of which share a cultural-critical stance of one kind or another. Cultural critical discussion of the content of texts, which could be readily confirmed by juicy quotes (sorry, I mean, by the judicious application of cultural analysis) led to a "postructuralist" critical discourse analysis.
There is a kind of classroom discourse analysis that I would describe as qualitative literary criticism applied to teacher talk, in which words like "enthusiasm", "excitement", and "knowledge building" are used the way we used to talk about the muscularity of Milton's metaphors or the crystalline structure of Pope's verses. 
But as Halliday points out, a discourse analysis of this type, without some systematic and clear link to grammar on the one hand and semantics on the other, is really no analysis at all; it's just a running commentary on a text, with some selective highlights tendentiously provided to bolster the critic's argument. That's why Gratier, Greenfield and Isaac heroically try to confirm their micro-analyses with a more macro-logogenetic comparison.
How does an analyst manage to connect the kind of microgenetic analysis that we really require to catch actual acts of cognition and communication in the wild with something more macrogenetic, even ontogenetic? I think there are two basic tendancies.
The first tendancy is the tendancy we see in ethnomethodology and conversation analysis influenced work, and it's one I would describe as downward reductionist. The analyst takes SINGULARITY as the key feature of communicative/cognitive events, and tries to find the implicit communicative principle in a single particular event (e.g. methods of turn-taking, the latching of adjacency pairs, etc.). If these can be shown to inhere in the actual meaning-making procedures of the participants themselves, then presumably they can be generalized to the macrogenetic plane. 
The problem with this appears on p. 305 of Gratier, Greenfield and Isaac, where the authors admit that their inter-rater agreement rate was low: 68% for the collaborative completions, 75% for repetition, and only 62% (!!!) for nonverbal imitations. For praise and criticism the inter-rater reliability was 78% and 71% respectively.
Raters are trained, and when that doesn't work (as it often doesn't in my own work) they train each other until it does. But if even trained and re-trained raters cannot agree on what constitutes praise and what constitutes criticism, it's hard to see how participants consistently do. One cannot help suspecting that they simply don't, and that this may as responsible for the discomfort reported in parent teacher conferences by Greenfield, Quiroz and Raeff as anything else.
It seems to me that the socio-cultural (or cultural-historical) approach to the methodological problem of linking micro- and macro- levels of analysis is, as the name implies, a much more UPWARDLY moving methodological maneuver. It involves trying to find a point where microgenetic changes pass over into macrogenetic ones, and often that involves working backwards from macrogenetic differences to microgenetic ones.
That is why I am not so shocked as some participants by the "essentializing" language of cooperation vs. competition, "collective" vs. "individualistic" or even Latino vs. Anglo. Actually, I think this kind of language is, as Larry says, a heuristic; a form of "hypothesis and then research", and it's excusable in a socio-cultural (cultural historical) attempt to link the micro with the macro.
Where I think I really differ with the authors is in the way that IRE is selectively employed to describe the latter and not the former, and "criticism" is selectively employed to describe the former and not the latter. It seems to me that BOTH of the following interactions can be described in terms of IRE:
T:El mar es la colecion de much agua, pero agua fresca o agua salada?
S: Agua salada.
T: OK.
T: Tell us what an artist does. What does an artist do?
S: Draw.
T: Draws. OK? How about a photographer?
S: Takes pictures.
T: OK. 
The usual way we think about IRE involves emphasizing the role of the E, either as reward (in neo-behaviorist teaching) or as a bridge to linking exchanges into sequences (in the work of Hugh Mehan, and latterly in that of Nassaji and Wells, and Gordon Wells generally). But here both teachers are moving from the general to the particular, from definition to exemplification, using "OK" as their E move. 
It's pretty clear to me that the INITIATE is the key difference. In BC the initiate is a STATEMENT, followed by a question with only one degree of freedom. The result is a consensus, albeit one based on very little choice (and one which confirms what one child said earlier in the exchange, "ya me lo se todo").
In the Non-BC we have a much more open opening: a command which actually REQUIRES participation, followed by a wh-question. The child's response is the object of critical uptake (focussed on verb-subject agreement). But the second question indicates an implicit CRITICISM of this response, because a photographer can also be said to be an artist, but a photographer does not draw.
So it appears to me that the teacher in the Non-BC classroom is being a lot more critical, at least implicitly. The difference between the two classrooms might actually be in the demandingness ("prospectivity" is the proper technical term, I guess) of the initiate. 
The problem is that there is nothing inherent or universally generalizeable in demandingness; it really does depend on the needs and on the volition of the participants. In a classroom, however, those needs and that volition are, either explicitly or implicitly, explainable by that faith in a link between learning and development which we all do confess.
David Kellogg
Seoul National University of Education 

--- On Fri, 12/4/09, Larry Purss <lpurss@shaw.ca> wrote:

From: Larry Purss <lpurss@shaw.ca>
Subject: Re: [xmca] Gratier, Greenfield, & Isaac
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Date: Friday, December 4, 2009, 5:21 AM

I wanted to amplify an aspect of the article that is implicit and make it more explicit.
On page 312 various frames are offered to explain the reason for the alternative communicative styles.
A) in the BC class the interactions are peer-group led rather than teacher led
B)It might reflect a sense of partaking in a group voice and sharing a coherent group identity.
C)It may denote a general OPENNESS TO NOVELTY and creative responding and an orientation to verbal PLAY,NARRATIVE, AND HUMOR.

There is another discourse which focuses on creating "COMMON GROUND" (p313) and "student attentional engagement and emotional expression" (313) which "results in a rhythmic pattern that creates ensemble" (313).
This is the dramaturlogical discourse of "enactments" and "PLAY" and language "games"  This discourse emphasizes metaphors that point to creating or opening spaces where common ground emerges from novelty.
I share sympathy with the perspective of this article that emphasizes collaborative emergence.  Yes the terms collectivistic and individualistic are essentializing terms but if we view them as heuristic language games to map the territory of the relational patterns emerging and creating common ground their are various discourses which can point us in that direction.


----- Original Message -----
From: David Kellogg <vaughndogblack@yahoo.com>
Date: Friday, December 4, 2009 12:50 am
Subject: Re: [xmca] Gratier, Greenfield, & Isaac
To: lchcmike@gmail.com, Culture ActivityeXtended Mind <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>

> The part that Jay is puzzled by caught my eye as well. It's 
> right on the bottom of p. 297:
> "Cultural conflicts between Latino family values and American 
> pedagogical values were also studied empirically by Greenfield, 
> Quiroz and Raeff (2000) through an analysis of patent-teacher 
> conferences. They found widely varying emphases on helping and 
> sharing as well as high levels of misunderstanding and confusion 
> between Latino parents and US trained mainstream teachers. 
> Implicit cultural conflicts were shown to clearly (?) relate to 
> underlying and nonverbalized cultural assumptions. In these 
> conferences, the teacher, having adopted the 'individualistic' 
> assumptions of US school culture, was verbally constructing an 
> 'individualistic' child, whereas the parent was verbally 
> constructing a 'collectivistic' one. As an example, one element 
> in the 'collectivistic worldview is a dispreference for praise, 
> which makes one child stand out. In the 'individualistic' (p. 
> 298) worldview, in contrast, praise is strongly preferred. In 
> one conference, teh teacher's
>  praise for the child made a father extremely 
> uncomfortable. Given that these parents were concerned with 
> socializing their children into tehir culture, we would imagine 
> that high levels of praise in the classroom would cause conflict 
> with the children's (?) more collectivistic worldview, based on 
> their home socialization."
> This paragraph is later transformed into a research hypothesis 
> on p. 303:
> "H4: We predicted more use of praise in the non-BC classroom and 
> more use of criticism in the BC classroom." (p. 303)
> It is also the object of quantitative analysis on p. 304: "the 
> number of instances of praise and criticism directed at the students"
> It seems clear, to answer Jay's query, that this means 
> praise/criticism of the child by the teacher. What is less clear 
> is how these can be "clearly" related to NONVERBALIZED and 
> UNDERLYING cultural assumptions,, 
> If they are underlying and assumed, why would they be verbalized 
> at all? If they are wholly or partly nonverbalized, how can they 
> be quantified in the number of instances of praise and criticism 
> directed at students? 
> In addition, it's not at all clear how or if research based on 
> parent-teacher conferences, which are performances of a rather 
> different nature in which the child does not take part, is valid 
> for classroom research. 
> I think, unlike Jay, I am rather sympathetic to the Bernsteinian 
> assumptions that underly this kind of research. I do believe 
> that there is something called a restricted code and a more 
> elaborated one, and I even believe that up to a certain point a 
> home-school mismatch can be debilitating for children.
> But I also believe that after a certain point (say, fourth or 
> fifth grade) kids begin to talk like other kids and not like 
> their parents. So when we find restricted codes reproducing 
> themselves in learner language, it is not blameable on parent 
> cultures, but rather on the child's own emerging volition. 
> That is the bad news. The good news is that, like foreign 
> language codes (which are certainly elaborated), the 
> fossilization of restricted codes is highly susceptible 
> to teacher intervention.
> David Kellogg
> Seoul National University of Education
> --- On Thu, 12/3/09, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:
> From: mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Gratier, Greenfield, & Isaac
> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> Cc: "Patricia Greenfield" <greenfield@psych.ucla.edu>, 
> mgratier@u-paris10.fr
> Date: Thursday, December 3, 2009, 4:51 PM
> I am cc'ing authors in case they have not signed up for the 
> discussion. A
> mixture of questions have been raised that perhaps
> they can help to help us sort out.
> mike
> On Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 3:00 PM, yuan lai 
> <laiyuantaiwan@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Michael, I believe there are ways that mirror the “natural 
> way” to teach
> > cultural capital overtly. I’ve seen 3- and 4-year-olds from 
> families of
> > refugee status quickly appropriated the value placed on print, 
> showing> interest in print, wanting to write their names, 
> feeling proud of their own
> > attempts, not long after establishing a relationship with the 
> preschool> teacher in various activities in a family literacy 
> program, which embeds
> > print in almost all its classroom activities. For example, the 
> teacher read
> > to the children while they were eating, pointed out print and 
> signs in the
> > environment for them as they went out for recess, and wrote 
> notes in front
> > of them to request materials needed for the classroom. The 
> transformation> of
> > the children’s attention, interest, and desire is amazing 
> given that the
> > children hardly understood English when they entered the 
> program and their
> > parents seldom read to them or pointed out print around due to 
> low reading
> > and writing ability in English and in their first language. 
> I've since been
> > convinced of the importance of setting up a learning 
> environment that has
> > an
> > emphasis on relationship building.
> >
> > Jay, until you revealed it, I didn't see it. I reread the 
> section leading
> > to
> > the hypotheses section and found that there is some reference 
> to praise,
> > but
> > not at all to criticism.
> >
> > It appears that the same two classrooms (BC and non-BC) have 
> been studied
> > from different angles and the findings seem to be consistent 
> with Gratier
> > et
> > al.'s framework. This article certainly extends their work. 
> Terms such as
> > style and collectivism do connote essentialization; the 
> authors’ data
> > provide substantiation of the essentialzed norms and 
> communication styles
> > (although what one sets out to do confines what one looks for) 
> but I think
> > they could have gone a step further. The example of a father’s 
> feeling> uncomfortable when the teacher praised his child does 
> not tell how he may
> > act or say to people in his in-group. There is also the 
> assumption that
> > home
> > socialization remains the same after immigration. Given the 
> contrastive> framework in Gratier et al., I see little reasons 
> not to include the
> > videotaping of the same groups of children (some of them, more 
> likely)> interacting with their parents at home. Or is another 
> paper forthcoming?
> >
> >  Yuan
> >
> >
> > On Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 4:46 AM, Michael Glassman 
> <MGlassman@ehe.osu.edu> >wrote:
> >
> > > Jay
> > > ,
> > > It seems to me a playing out - at least to some extent of 
> Bourdieu's> larger
> > > theory.  That increasing the cultural capital of the teacher 
> in relation
> > to
> > > the class would increase the level of social capital, which 
> would lead to
> > > some of the findings they present.  A lack of cultural 
> capital (usually
> > > assumed on the part of the students) would certainly lead to more
> > > difficulties in communication and the students feeling more 
> uncomfortable> in
> > > class.
> > >
> > > But this leads to a fairly radical assumption on the part of 
> the authors
> > > concerning habitus, even in terms of Bourdieu's theory.  
> That is that
> > > cultural capital can be taught overtly, as cultural capital -
> Bourdieu
> > seems
> > > to emphasize that we learn cultural capital more or less 
> unconsciously,> > through everyday experience in the right 
> situations (whether it is with
> > > parents or in a school system where the type of cultural 
> capital that
> > leads
> > > to easy social capital is pervasive).  I'm not so sure this 
> is possible.
> > >
> > > I have another difficult which is that I read habitus as 
> defining class
> > > distinctions rather than cultural distinctions, and that I'm 
> not sure his
> > > ideas translate between the two, or make that much sense if 
> they do.  The
> > > types of cultures like Latino/Latina cultures are going to 
> have class
> > > distinctions defined by different habitas, defined most 
> easily by
> > different
> > > levels of economic capital, and different recogntions of 
> symbolic capital
> > > (and symbolic violence),  To say a population so large has a 
> single type
> > of
> > > habitus I think is problematic - especially when using a 
> terms such as
> > > collectivist, which is both categorical and far too broad I 
> think to be
> > > really salient in describing classes, let alone entire 
> cultures (I think
> > > level and type of social capital might be more appropriate 
> if you are
> > going
> > > to use Bourdeiu's theory as a starting point).
> > >
> > > Michael
> > >
> > > ________________________________
> > >
> > > From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of Jay Lemke
> > > Sent: Thu 12/3/2009 12:16 AM
> > > To: XMCA Forum
> > > Subject: [xmca] Gratier, Greenfield, & Isaac
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > I don't know how many people have yet had a chance to look 
> at the MCA
> > > article-of-the-month (Gratier, Greenfield, & Isaac on 
> communicative> > habitus and attunement in classrooms).
> > >
> > > I must have missed something, so could someone explain to me 
> how they
> > > derive the hypothesis that the more culturally attuned 
> classroom will
> > > have more criticism (by the teacher? or by everyone?) and 
> less praise,
> > > than the mismatched classroom?
> > >
> > > And what do you think generally about the methodology in 
> this work?
> > >
> > > JAY.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Jay Lemke
> > > Professor (Adjunct, 2009-2010)
> > > Educational Studies
> > > University of Michigan
> > > Ann Arbor, MI 48109
> > > www.umich.edu/~jaylemke 
> <http://www.umich.edu/%7Ejaylemke> <
> > http://www.umich.edu/%7Ejaylemke>
> > >
> > > Visiting Scholar
> > > Laboratory for Comparative Human Communication
> > > University of California -- San Diego
> > > La Jolla, CA
> > > USA 92093
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > xmca mailing list
> > > xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> > > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > xmca mailing list
> > > xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
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> > >
> > >
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