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Re: [xmca] Obama's Learn Act

David--- Wouldn't Transmission be the first metaphor of your three
(the other two being construction and enculturation?).

Jay, Tony, et al.  At the end of the senior seminar i teach the students
watch "The Graduate." Its a little dated -- why is Benjamin so passive? But
he and Elaine, the two young "pro" tagaonists are very certainly not
encouraged to enter the moral order into which they are being inducted,
willy nilly. A very unattractive representation of the "California Dream" of
consumption and infidelity. Plastics. Their reaction is silent surface
compliance, and
after the fact breaking away, they know not toward what.

Seems normative enough to me. Reading *The Joy Luck Club* where the parents
want to induct, but the kids want to be Americans, is not all that

Off to today's real life.

On Sat, Dec 19, 2009 at 5:32 PM, Tony Whitson <twhitson@udel.edu> wrote:

> In Texas the State Bd of Ed is making no pretense of consistency on this,
> however. Last year for the Science standards they insisted that students be
> given a balanced presentation of "both sides" on evolution, and be
> encouraged to decide for themselves. This year they're doing Social Studies,
> and conservative board members are saying directly and explicitly that they
> don't want balanced Social Studies, but instead social studies that preaches
> patriotism and free enterprise.
> On Sun, 20 Dec 2009, Andy Blunden wrote:
>  Jay, that "critical thinking" has a chance of being a shared aim of
>> education is supported by the fact that the bible bashers now prefer to
>> argue that Natural Selection is an unproven hypothesis, and that Genesis is
>> another equally plausible hypothesis, rather than trying to claim exclusive
>> access to the truth. A lie of course, and a damn annoying one at that, but
>> still a concession to our postmodern, sceptical times. Critical thinking is
>> part of the fine liberal tradition going back to Burke and Locke, about not
>> being sucked into "ideology". Isn't this something Jesus would have
>> supported? :)
>> andy
>> Jay Lemke wrote:
>>> Tony and all,
>>> Not sure if this post was meant for xmca or not, certainly the many
>>> references will be of interest.
>>> The closing quote thought included this:
>>> " ... Within our civilization every
>>> young man or woman is systematically encouraged to enter more or less
>>> profoundly into a debate about the moral values and intellectual  assets
>>> that determine our order of life."
>>> Even in 1966, when it was published, it seems unlikely to have been the
>>> case, though maybe it was an ideal for many people. I certainly don't
>>> remember being "systematically encouraged" to enter that debate. It was more
>>> like having to crash the party, start the discussion, or fend off the
>>> disparaging attitudes of all the people who thought it quite unnecessary to
>>> have such a debate. Even at the University of Chicago, where in 1966 there
>>> really was an intellectual tradition of critical thinking that
>>> systematically encouraged it among undergraduates, I eventually realized
>>> that it was still a foregone conclusion that at the end of the debate we
>>> would be affirming the Western tradition, and its pinnacle, the beliefs,
>>> principles, practices and institutions of the good old USA -- with room for
>>> some small improvements, of course, so long as they carried out the same
>>> principles.
>>> By 1968 I was wondering if those principles could ever be enough. By 1972
>>> I was quite sure they would not be. Today I look back on them as
>>> hysterically naive. Or maybe just as the best of the 18th century hopelessly
>>> overwhelmed in the 21st.
>>> Still, I'd be happy if people far more conservative than I could agree
>>> with me and my ilk that such systematic encouragement ought to be the
>>> primary goal of education. With that settled we could get round to arguing
>>> about how to organize the debate in ways that did not try to conclusively
>>> pre-empt its outcomes.
>>> 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>
>>> Visiting Scholar
>>> Laboratory for Comparative Human Communication
>>> University of California -- San Diego
>>> La Jolla, CA
>>> USA 92093
>>> On Dec 19, 2009, at 11:03 AM, Tony Whitson wrote:
>>>  David,
>>>> I'm enclosing some things that might be of interest. I'm also copying to
>>>> Bill since he's more familiar with these than I am (I expect he was
>>>> using
>>>> these things in classes at LSU before I got there).
>>>> Here are some citations (an Endnote library with these citations is
>>>> attached
>>>> in a zip file. you can probably import from that if you use other bib
>>>> software. I have also included a pdf of the SCIENCE TEACHING
>>>> article -- see top paragraph of p. 221):
>>>> Barr, Robert D., James L. Barth, and S. Samuel Shermis. Defining the
>>>> Social
>>>> Studies, Bulletin - National Council for the Social Studies, #51.
>>>> Arlington
>>>> VA: National Council for the Social Studies, 1977.
>>>> ---. The Nature of the Social Studies. Palm Springs, CA: ETC
>>>> Publications,
>>>> 1977.
>>>> Flitner, Andreas. "Theories of Adolescence." Paedagogica Europaea 2,
>>>> (1966):
>>>> 226-32.
>>>> Friedrichsen, Patricia Meis, and Thomas M. Dana. "Substantive-Level
>>>> Theory
>>>> of Highly Regarded Secondary Biology Teachers' Science Teaching
>>>> Orientations." Journal of Research in Science Teaching 42, no. 2 (2005):
>>>> 218-44.
>>>> White, Charles S. "A Validation Study of the Barth-Shermis Social
>>>> Studies
>>>> Preference Scale." Theory and Research in Social Education 10, no. 2
>>>> (1982):
>>>> 1-20.
>>>> B, B, & S identified "three traditions" in Social Studies. White found
>>>> teachers' thinking & practice did not line of consistently with any of
>>>> the
>>>> traditions, in particular (this is from memory, I haven't read the White
>>>> piece since it first came out. I thought TRSE was supposed to be
>>>> available
>>>> on the web with a rolling wall for recent volumes; but I don't see it.
>>>> I'm
>>>> sure it's in the LSU library, though. Maybe Bill knows about Web
>>>> availability.)
>>>> I think you're right, descriptively; but I don't come to your
>>>> prescriptive
>>>> stance. I would argue for educating for competence in the respective
>>>> fields
>>>> of praxis, which creates a standpoint for critiquing any of the
>>>> orientations
>>>> insofar as they can be shown to fall short of forming competence in
>>>> students. The only valuing that's required for this is the valuing of
>>>> competence. The fact/value dichotomy in general is of course
>>>> positivistic.
>>>> Martin recently posted a quote that I see as an example of one approach
>>>> for
>>>> making the case for competence:
>>>> " static societies assign to young people a definite place within the
>>>> social
>>>> order as it is: young people are given the status of adults and inherit
>>>> their forms of behaviour. This act of taking over may be brief or
>>>> slightly
>>>> longer, but the result is clear. Young people are being fitted into the
>>>> existing system of values and orders and thus become indistinguishable
>>>> from
>>>> adults. On the other hand, it is the distinguishing mark of our highly
>>>> civilized and individualized society that nothing is simply handed on
>>>> and
>>>> accepted - it must be understood and affirmed. Within our civilization
>>>> every
>>>> young man or woman is systematically encouraged to enter more or less
>>>> profoundly into a debate about the moral values and intellectual  assets
>>>> that determine our order of life. The young woman or man ought to
>>>> comprehend
>>>> this form of life, affirm or deny its value, and thus work out his [or
>>>> her]
>>>> own position in the world. The psychological crisis of adolescence is
>>>> essentially the outcome of this debate."
>>>> (Flitner, 1966, p. 228)
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu]
>>>> On
>>>> Behalf Of David H Kirshner
>>>> Sent: Friday, December 18, 2009 12:15 PM
>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>> Subject: RE: [xmca] Obama's Learn Act
>>>> Michael,
>>>> Finally, a moment to respond, to you, but also to the many subsequent
>>>> posts that have lamented the politically intractable landscape of
>>>> education.
>>>> I'm reminded of the Math Wars (my own home turf) that has been a scourge
>>>> in the U.S. for almost 15 years now. In it, reformers, rallying around
>>>> the Curriculum & Evaluation Standards promulgated by the National
>>>> Council of Teachers of Mathematics, are pitted against conservatives who
>>>> insist on repetitive practice and lecture methods. As expected,
>>>> legislatures that have been drawn into the fray (e.g., California) have
>>>> tended to side with conservatives. Conservatives, in this dispute,
>>>> number among their members a large and vocal cadre of prominent
>>>> mathematicians (see the 1999 open letter to the U.S. Secretary of
>>>> Education signed by 200 of them denouncing reform curricula:
>>>> http://www.mathematicallycorrect.com/nation.htm).
>>>> Reformers have been quick to lament the ideological tenor of the debate.
>>>> But it should be kept in mind that mathematicians are not your usual
>>>> ideologues. Rather in California (the epicenter of the Math Wars) where
>>>> NCTM's Standards were adopted in the early 1990s, mathematicians only
>>>> become involved following widespread anecdotal accounts of dysfunctional
>>>> learning environments spawned in the name of reform curricula.
>>>> I condense my previous points:
>>>> 1. The universe of pedagogical discourse is framed by 3 distinct
>>>> metaphorical notions of learning related to acquisition of skills,
>>>> concepts, and dispositions, respectively.*
>>>> 2. These distinct notions of learning also are guiding intuitions for
>>>> the major psychological schools-behavioral/cognitive, developmental, and
>>>> sociocultural, respectively.
>>>> 3. The best possibility for a coherent and accessible pedagogical theory
>>>> parses "good teaching" into 3 separate genres related to these 3
>>>> intuitive notions of learning.
>>>> 4. Such a parsing separates out values issues (what sort(s) of learning
>>>> should we pursue in educational settings) from efficacy issues (how can
>>>> we best support learning).
>>>> 5. Current pedagogical theorizing is not oriented around genres, but
>>>> rather is integrative; the orienting goal is to identify a single set of
>>>> practices that constitutes the practices of good teaching.
>>>> 5i. Good teaching framed in this integrative fashion obscures reference
>>>> back to the grounding metaphorical intuitions about learning. As result
>>>> such theorizing tends to be intellectually intractable.
>>>> 5ii. Any particular version of good teaching framed in this integrative
>>>> fashion reifies certain learning goals over others. This conflation of
>>>> values issues with issues of efficacy makes pedagogical theory
>>>> inherently divisive.
>>>> 6. The tendency toward integrative theorizing in education traces back
>>>> to two sociological circumstances: (i) the preparadigmatic status of
>>>> psychology; and (ii) the historic subservience of education to
>>>> psychology.
>>>> 6i. As a preparadigmatic science the historical imperative is to achieve
>>>> paradigmatic consensus. Thus each psychological school works outward
>>>> from its primary intuitions about learning to try to encompass the
>>>> broader concerns of the field. The hegemonic agenda for each is to
>>>> present learning as a complex and multifaceted process that eventually
>>>> can become an umbrella for the whole field.
>>>> 6ii. Because education is in a (subservient) partnership with
>>>> psychology, educators have come to adopt the psychologists' aspirational
>>>> view of learning as unitary or integrative, thereby denying what is
>>>> plainly obvious: at this historical juncture learning is diversely
>>>> conceived within unreconciled psychological traditions. Indeed,
>>>> education plays out as a surrogate field for psychology's competitive
>>>> ambitions.
>>>> In short, I think we have been less than effective in influencing
>>>> education because what we provide for education is a discourse that is
>>>> both confusing and divisive.
>>>> David
>>>> *Michael, my point isn't that philosophical and ontological analyses of
>>>> the sort you referenced aren't important and relevant. Rather, I see
>>>> these as background influences on the psychological framings of learning
>>>> that orient education.
>>>> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu]
>>>> On Behalf Of Michael Glassman
>>>> Sent: Monday, December 14, 2009 10:02 AM
>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>> Subject: RE: [xmca] Obama's Learn Act
>>>> David,
>>>> I think your ideas on the three metaphors are salient in terms of common
>>>> sense, but I also think that what is wrong with the Learn Act is that it
>>>> doesn't really connect up with any of them.
>>>> Near as I can tell (and perhaps somebody can set me straight here) this
>>>> idea that children should learn knowledge in preschool of basic letters,
>>>> numbers, vocabulary so they can be ready to learn immediately (and if
>>>> they are not doing this something is wrong) is a sort of mash up of
>>>> nativism (the idea that humans are programmed to recognize certain types
>>>> of information and once they are exposed to it they will integrate it
>>>> into their thinking), cognitive architectures (the idea that you should
>>>> build specific types of architectures in the brain early which will
>>>> allow children to make connections with new more complex information
>>>> later), the efficacy of direct instruction (see nativist), and a realist
>>>> perspective (that there is specific type of information in the world
>>>> that the child needs to know that will make them more successful - once
>>>> they are able to recognize and process this information they will be
>>>> able to use it to their own and society's advantage).  Underlying these
>>>> assumptions is the idea that the child is basically a passive learner,
>>>> and that once the mind recognizes important information it will take
>>>> over.  I find the arguments confusing and circular, and in some ways
>>>> dangerous (suggesting that there is a specific type of knowledge that is
>>>> valuable and should take precedence, and that this knowledge can be used
>>>> to control nature).  It is also opposite of what early chilhood
>>>> educators such as Friedrich Frobel, Maria Montessori, the people who
>>>> have been working in Piagetian, Deweyan, and Vygotskian paradigms have
>>>> been doing for over a century.  All of that work has simply been swept
>>>> aside for this new - it isn't even a paradigm.  I don't know what it is.
>>>> I don't think there is any strong logical argument that can be made for
>>>> this position.  And I think there is really no empirical evidence that
>>>> suggests this leads to better learners (unless some great breakthrough
>>>> occurred while I was asleep).  And yet over the last couple of decades
>>>> it seems to have become gospel in some very important circles
>>>> (especially in the government).  The only answer I can think of is that
>>>> it fills some social and/or economic need.
>>>> Michael
>>>> ________________________________
>>>> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of David H Kirshner
>>>> Sent: Mon 12/14/2009 2:26 AM
>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>> Subject: RE: [xmca] Obama's Learn Act
>>>> Michael,
>>>> I think our discourse fails to sway politicians because it fails to
>>>> connect up with our cultural commonsense about learning.
>>>> Broadly speaking I see our cultural commonsense involving 3 main
>>>> metaphors of learning corresponding to 3 major kinds of learning goals
>>>> informed by 3 major theoretical thrusts in psychology:
>>>> Habituation             Skills            Behaviorism/some cognitive
>>>> science
>>>> Construction             Concepts         Developmental / Piagetian
>>>> Enculturation            Dispositions      Sociocultural
>>>> The problems arise from the sociological imperative of psychology to
>>>> become a paradigmatic science. Rather than elaborate these alternative
>>>> notions of learning in a way that highlights their distinct conceptual
>>>> foundations, psychologists of all stripes are bent upon extending
>>>> outward from their basic intuition about learning so as to incorporate
>>>> the interests and concerns of the other camps. In this way, eventually,
>>>> one school succeeds in capturing the field and paradigmatic psychology
>>>> is achieved.
>>>> In the meantime, (1) theories of learning become intractably complex
>>>> even as the intuitive underpinning of each psychological thrust becomes
>>>> increasingly opaque, and (2) values decisions about which form(s) of
>>>> learning should be pursued in education become absorbed into theoretical
>>>> discourses about learning.
>>>> The legacy for education is a pedagogical discourse that is
>>>> simultaneously confused and conflicted. The real alternatives that COULD
>>>> be framed for pedagogical practice toward diverse goals become
>>>> homogenized within a shapeless, integrative discourse. Sloganeering
>>>> substitutes in for intellectual foundation; competing camps attest to
>>>> the strength (i.e., influence) of the psychological schools whose
>>>> theories have inspired the slogans.
>>>> David
>>>> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu]
>>>> On Behalf Of Michael Glassman
>>>> Sent: Sunday, December 13, 2009 11:05 PM
>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>> Subject: RE: [xmca] Obama's Learn Act
>>>> I really think that this legislation is, among other things,
>>>> historically insensitive.  Do people really think, given our society's
>>>> history with assessment tests, that these tests are not going to be
>>>> geared towards middle class values?  Do people really think that these
>>>> tests are not going to be used to label and differentiate groups?  Do
>>>> people really think that these assessments are not going to be used to
>>>> in some way reinforce a deficit model for children who don't do well on
>>>> the tests?  The fact that these tests are being conducted at such a
>>>> young age makes these ideas even more painful.
>>>> These senators Brown and Franken and Murray have their hearts in the
>>>> right place, but our discourse on education in the United States has
>>>> become so convoluted and narrow and so dominated by a faux realist
>>>> perspective (actually an unholy combination of realist and idealist)
>>>> that even legislators who mean well are I think making thoughtless
>>>> mistakes.  It still pains me that Ted Kennedy and George Miller were
>>>> major forces behind NCLB.  There are many reasons for this I think, not
>>>> the least of which is control of public discourse by a relatively small
>>>> group of educators - but just because you are giving money towards
>>>> education initiatives does not mean that you are helping the cause of
>>>> universal education.
>>>> Michael
>>>> ________________________________
>>>> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of cconnery@ithaca.edu
>>>> Sent: Sun 12/13/2009 10:10 PM
>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>> Subject: RE: [xmca] Obama's Learn Act
>>>> Hi Peg and others:
>>>> Here is the specific language under section 9, e,1,c of the LEARN Act:
>>>> (1) IN GENERAL.-An eligible entity that receives a subgrant under this
>>>> section shall use the subgrant funds consistent with the plan proposed
>>>> in subsection (c) to carry out the following activities:
>>>> (C) SCREENING ASSESSMENTS AND MEASURES.-Acquiring, providing training
>>>> for, and implementing screening assessments or other appropriate
>>>> measures to determine whether children from birth through kindergarten
>>>> entry are developing appropriate early language and literacy skills.
>>>> The question is, "WHO will determine what is appropriate and HOW will
>>>> they assess it?" This goes to the heart of Vygotsky's work.
>>>> Cathrene
>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>> traditions.zip>_______________________________________________
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>>> _______________________________________________
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>> --
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Andy Blunden http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>+61 3 9380 9435 Skype andy.blunden
>> Hegel's Logic with a Foreword by Andy Blunden:
>> http://www.marxists.org/admin/books/index.htm
>> _______________________________________________
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> Tony Whitson
> UD School of Education
> NEWARK  DE  19716
> twhitson@udel.edu
> _______________________________
> "those who fail to reread
>  are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
>                  -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)
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