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

Sorry Larry, I did not know the context of the question. Sure, in repressive
situations like schools most are (see exception of the OC school that Rogoff
participated in for a clear exception) push for more opening up. In a hippy
commune in Oregon in 1970 that may have not been your choice. Your comments
make clear the problems we face when, as i did, I responded to your question
without knowing your concerns. My addressivity was off. A chronic problem in
email fora.

Gotta rise to the concrete or the abstractions can seem a tad empty.

On Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 1:53 PM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:

> Mike
> 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
> anxiety
> 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
> good"]
> 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.
> Larry
> 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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