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[xmca] obuchenie and the interaction's eye view of learning
To rather naively (and quickly) throw out a suggestion for
English speakers that might capture some of the nuance of
obuchenie, I wonder if "learning interaction" might do some of
this work. I don't think the words do all of the work
themselves, but if one points to the concept of "interaction"
as used in Chemistry, this might get a little more traction.
As a rather classic example (maybe a bit "tired" for some on
the listserve) consider: when the highly volatile Sodium atom
is brought together with the poisonous Chloride atom, the
result is a rather innocuous compound that can be liberally
sprinkled on the lip of a Margarita glass to be imbibed along
with the makings of a Margarita. So which element is
responsible for the saltiness? Now imagine bringing together a
volatile teacher and a poisonous student and the possibility
for a "salty" teaching interaction -- okay one shouldn't take
one's metaphors too far... But the idea of "emergence" seems
This is why I find Goffman's work so intriguing. He is willing
to forget about the actors and focus at the level of the
interaction and the stuff that emerges in and out of the
interaction (and Goffman started his academic career at the
University of Manitoba intending to study Chemistry!). It
seems that this interaction's eye view of things is what is
needed in order to see the importance of the "between" teacher
Anyway, I suggest this rather naively since I suspect that
this is probably different in some very important ways from
what is meant by obuchenie, but I am not well enough informed
about obuchenie to identify what these differences might be.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
The Department of Comparative Human Development
The University of Chicago
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