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Re: [xmca] Mary Had a Little Lamb: the concept categories
Vygotsky reasons that "although" is a late developing concept compared to "because" in both its EC and SC forms. This makes sense to me; it is much more difficult than "because", since it contains the dialectical idea of two things that are linked but distinct and in some sense opposed and contradictory, not simply the idea that they are linked but distinct and one follows causally from the other. It's hard to get your head around that one.
So Vygotsky thinks, we are basically looking at the first part of the parallelogram of development, the part where (Vygotsky estimates) "because" also showed divergent development between the fast rising academic concept and the much slower rising everyday concept.
Eventually, Vygotsky reasons, we will see a ceiling effect on the academic concept and the everday concept will join it. The picture he draws to show this includes some purely speculative data which he probably intended to gather but never did. I think he went ahead and published because of nature's deadline.
There ARE complete parallelograms of development visible in materials that are gathered by subsequent researchers, including stuff from researchers who are not actually very sympathetic to Vygotsky, such as Karmiloff-Smith (see "Beyond Modularity", p.19, where there is a very clear parallelogram of development in her depiction of "behavioral change" vs. "representational change").
So...how does he reconcile the claims with the data? Optimism, as Jay would say!
Seoulnational University of Education
--- On Sun, 4/4/10, Martin Packer <email@example.com> wrote:
From: Martin Packer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: [xmca] Mary Had a Little Lamb: the concept categories
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
Date: Sunday, April 4, 2010, 5:31 PM
A question on chapter 6 of R&L. Vygotsky provides some data on the first few pages, which I plotted (attached) and found that I had reproduced his own diagram later in the chapter. This is from the study asking children to complete sentences with 'because' or 'although,' using either everyday concepts (EC) or scientific concepts (SC). LSV interprets the data as showing that responses employing SCs are always at a higher level, but that with time they 'pull up' the ECs. The first figure does seem to show this. It shows results from asking the children "Because..." qustions. At 2nd grade the SC results are higher than the EC results, while at 4th grade although the responses using SC are scored even higher, those using EC have caught up. But in the second diagram, showing data from "Although..." questions, the gap between SC and EC grows over time/age/grade. The difference between SC and EC is greater at 4th grade than at 2nd grade. This seems to run
counter to LSV's statements. Any suggestions about how to reconcile the claims with the data?
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