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Re: [xmca] Fwd: the Ideal of lived uncertainty as a moral good

You mention that mediation can produce BOTH anxiety [quest for certainty]
AND possibility but are not sure if "valuing uncertainty" is, in ITSELF a
moral good.
My bringing in the term "moral good" was to amplify our reflections on how
WE ought to proceed in our "interplay" with each other. "Anxiety" and
"possibility" seem to be in dialectical tension and I am reflecting how our
interplay with others has the potential on the one hand to open up expansive
possibilities or on the other hand create an anxious search for certainty
and predictability.
In todays current climate of high stakes anxiety in schools which focus on
 "individual accountability" and  "measuring success" schools are
embracing the TRANSMISSON of  received knowledge with its implicit value
of searching for certainty [this leads to labelling AND anxiety if you don't
measure up]

In schools, I am asked to intervene when situational anxiety reaches a point
where people become locked into taking strong positions.  The institutional
models [traditions] used to understand this situational anxiety [Who is
going to be IN CONTROL] is an ongoing implicit theme embedded within
institutionalized school structures.

My appropriating specific notions from the "pragmatic" tradition that value
tembracing uncertainty AND possibility within EXPANSIVE interplay is an
attempt to make explicit a "moral stance" that can guide or be a compass
point for how we ought to proceed to reduce situational anxiety and revision
schools as sites which value and create contexts which encourage the
interplay of uncertainty AND possibility. [Anne Edwards work on "relational
agency using CHAT perspectives is one example]

Mike, if  the "capacity" for "making choices" [Mead's focus on agentic
capacity] is a developmental capacity that emerges RELATIONALLY
[constituted within interplay] , then the capacity to choose the "moral
good" [which is an emerging developing "capacity"] may need to become a
central focus of schooling [and other societal institutions].
I happen to work in school settings, so this site is where I reflect on how
to proceed.
In the same spirit of questioning my using the term "reflection" [is it too
idividually biased or can be reclaimed as a relational term?]  I"ve
observed a reluctance to openly discuss questions of the "moral
good"  within schools. My suspicion why we do not explicitly discuss the
"moral good" is our reluctance to accept that we are morally implicated in
each others lives. We VALUE "individual choice" [and our institutions are
organized to perpetuate this implicit value] and any notion of "mutually
being MORALLY implicated in each others lives causes social and personal
Valsiner's 4th level of undifferentiated "feeling states" may be a way to
reflect on why this topic produces anxiety. Attempting to talk about "SHARED
values" challenges our "implicit feeling orientation" and generates feelings
of anxiety.  We are so defended from being "controlled" by others values
that we accept becoming mute on these topics in schools and embrace the
ideal of we each have the RIGHT to our own moral choices.  [Charles Taylor
emphasizes this "implicit feeling orientation" is itself a SHARED value
which needs to be seen as only one particular perspective on the "moral

The discussion on a recent post about "human sciences" recommends
discussions of our value orientations should be made explicit as they
regulating our practices implicity within shared institutional
spaces. If values are constitutive of our humanness, these topics need to be
brought out into the open and in dialogue.


On Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 8:02 AM, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:

> Larry et al--
> So far as i can tell, existential uncertainty is an ineluctable
> consequences
> of mediated human psychological processes. Just as mediation entails both
> control of oneself, choice, and control over the environment, as systems
> propterties, so it can produced both anxiety (Dewey on the quest for
> certainty) AND possibility. I am not sure it is, in itself, a moral good,
> but in so far as it involves choice, I believe it makes moral issues a part
> of all such forms of human behavior.
> The topic of reflection, in many of its uses, harks back strongly to
> discussions in Soviet psychology, Lenin, etc. It has also been raised on
> this list recently.  There are a LOT of message about this topic to be
> found
> at lchc.ucsd.edu if you google from the bottom of the page (and, I see, a
> couple of papers that wandered on there from one of our classes, gotta see
> about that!)
> mike
> On Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 1:19 AM, Denise Newnham <dsnewnham@bluewin.ch
> >wrote:
> > Dear Larry, I think that you will find solace in the semiotic line of CHT
> > or
> > SCAT. Valsiner, Wertch, Daniels etc. Rogoff attempts to bridge the two. I
> > have attached a paper by Sawyer I don't know whether you have read this.
> I
> > think that your journey is worth pursuing you just have to be prepared to
> > answer a lot of questions.
> >
> >
> > Denise
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu]
> On
> > Behalf Of Larry Purss
> > Sent: 18 August 2010 06:06
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: [xmca] Fwd: the Ideal of lived uncertainty as a moral good
> >
> > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> > From: Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
> > Date: Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 11:00 AM
> > Subject: the Ideal of lived uncertainty as a moral good
> > To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> >
> >
> > Hi Denise, Martin, and others
> >
> > I decided to post a new thread so long trailing previous posts are not
> > included [I'm not sure how much previous information gmail attaches when
> > responding?]
> >
> > Martin thanks for the newspaper article. The post on imagination was
> > certainly on topic.  It was also interesting to see how many responses
> were
> > posted to the article. Must have triggered people's imaginations.
> >
> > Denise,
> > I welcome all your suggestions on the topic of imagination and abduction.
> > Your recommending my reading Anne Edwards article in the Cambridge
> > anthology
> > on Vygotsky has also been suggested by Mike Cole. When I again have
> access
> > to a university library I definitely will read this article as it seems
> > central to my reveries [and fantasies].
> >
> > Another book edited by Anne Edwards [and Peter Gilroy and David Hartley]
> > "Rethinking Teacher Education: Collaborative Responses to Uncertainty"
> also
> > engages with the dialectic of certainty/UNcertainty and
> > fallibility/infallibility.  The juxtaposition of imagination and reality
> as
> > opposites rather than aspects of a psychological/societal gestalt seems
> to
> > be the framework that needs to be critiqued.
> >
> > The theme of Edward's edited book on teacher education mentioned above
> > explores the relations BETWEEN modernity and postmodernity and the
> cultural
> > DISSONANCE that we are currently navigating. On page 7  Edwards et al
> > suggest,
> >
> > "This dichotomy  between extremes is resolved by an epistemology based on
> > the notions of 'LIVED UNCERTAINTY' and the 'COLLABORATIVE professional'
> as
> > opposed to the REFLECTIVE practitioner) which also allows for the missing
> > VALUE ELEMENT of teacher education to be reintroduced to the debate
> > concerning the nature of teacher education"
> >
> > I would like others to comment on this  juxtaposition of reflecting and
> > collaborating as opposing terms.  I intuitively perceive reflection and
> > collaboration as aspects of a gestalt that sometimes are in tension and
> > sometimes intersubjectively and mutually generative of expansive
> learning.
> > Like the dialectical terms imagination/actuality, experience/culture,
> > structure/process, these shared terms may be differentiated and be
> > perceived
> > as opposed but is this ALWAYS the situation???  Is this perceived
> dichotomy
> > the reason why Mead is viewed as "merely" cognitive and a branch of af
> > analytical philosophy???  I wonder if a case can be made to include both
> > Vygotsky and Mead as having historical roots in Continental Philosophy
> [via
> > Dilthey]?
> > Scholars such as Jack Martin and Alex Gillespie's interpretations of
> Mead's
> > writings perceive neo-Meadian accounts as falling within the tradition of
> > hermeneutical REALISM and
> > critique merely cognitive accounts.
> >
> > The question I'm circling around is the term REFLECTION.  This concept
> > seems
> > to be avoided by some postmodernist accounts as too INTERNAL and not
> > collaborativie enough.  Is the term "reflection" now seen as having lost
> > its
> > historical roots as emerging within collaborative dialogues.? [in a
> similar
> > way to how Dewey wondered if he should have replaced the term
> "experience"
> > with "culture"]
> >
> > Denise, is this one of the areas of "quicksand" that you, Mike Cole, and
> > Andy are cautioning to approach with uncertainty and fallibility as I
> > attempt to COORDINATE [collaboratively and reflectively] multiple
> > perspectives.??   I, at this point, still value and want to use both the
> > terms REFLECTION  and COLLABORATION  and also the terms IMAGINATION
> > and AGENTIC CAPACITY as valued terms in sociocultural perspectives.  I
> > however continue to struggle to always remember these concepts as being
> >  generated  within historical and ontogenetic developmental situational
> > contexts.   I recognize that I am a product [and process] of my
> > historically
> > constructed horizon of understanding and therefore at this point I
> continue
> > to IMPLICITLY value [have a BIAS] to want to include "self-determination
> > WITHIN contexts" as a phenomenological category.  Can the category of
> > "reflection" coexist and deepen notions of "collaboration" or
> > should "reflection" be critiqued as too "cognitive", "internal", and
> > "individualistic"???
> >
> > Larry
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