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[xmca] Zebra Crossing

I have just read a remarkable article on "Thinking and Speech" and the "Psychology of Art" by Mauricio Ernica in Brazil. He argues that there are three clear links between the two:
a) The social formation of consciousness ("art as the social tool of emotion")
b) The distinction between higher and lower emotions ("the aesthetic response")
c) The mutual annihilation of content and form (catharsis) 
He points out that only a) is really EXPLICIT in T&S. But he argues that b) is implicit in the idea, most clearly expressed in the passage on Sapir in Chapter One which is unfortunately missing from all the English translations, on how the emotional, or affective volitional, side of word meaning is what really gets transformed when words develop into concepts. And c) is implicit in the idea that lexicogrammatical subjects, predicates, and even categories like number and gender are quite different from the psychological subjects, predicates, and other semantic categories of inner speech.
I think all that is really true, and it came a shock to me. I've spent the last month or so rootling around in Psychology of Art for the truffles of Thinking and Speech. And here is Mauricio Ernica doing exactly the opposite, rummaging around in the later work and coming up with some real jewels of the earlier one.
But one thing that is simply NOT in the Psychology of Art in any implicit form at all is the zone of proximal development. I think Andy is right to question whether the Zoped applies to fully developed humans in exactly the same way it does to children who are in the process of catastrophic, revolutionary ontogenetic developments every three years or four years or so.
But for precisely that reason we have to question whether withdrawal of support is the crucial, essential, typical moment of development! Vygotsky says that IMITATION provides the actual content of the zone of proximal development--not imitation in a narrow sense, it is true, but intelligent imitation which includes the understanding of the purpose of the action and the possiblity of "intra-revolu-turning". It's very hard to see how you can "imitate" a lack of support or intra-revolu-turn-ate it.
Yet this is basically the "scaffolding" interpretation of the ZPD put forward by Bruner (in, among other places, his preface to Thinking and Speech). Sure enough, it is an interpretation which CAN apply to adults in almost exactly the same way that it does to children, because it does not distinguish between microgenetic teaching-and-learning and ontogenetic development.
In the nineteenth century, the key problem which vexed the first ecologists (Haeckl) anthropologists (Levy-Bruhl) and psychologists (Hall) was whether ontogeny recapitulates or somehow retraces phylogeny. I think this semi-obsession (definitively rejected by Vygotsky in the very first chapter of the History of the Development of the Higher Mental Functions) was partly the result of the discovery of evolutionary "stages" in embryological development (e.g. a "plantlike" stage, a "fish" stage, a "rodent"stage, and a simian one). The eighth century Tibetans, who were quite familiar with the stages of embryological devleopment because of their high rate of death in child birth and their custom of dismembering corpses to feed them to birds of prey, had already rejected the parallels as being striking but ultimately overstated.
In the twentieth century, the semi-obsession has been whether or not microgenesis recapitulates the sociogenesis of knowledge; that is, whether children have to recreate knowledge through "discovery learning" or "project work" that mimicks the way in which the original discoverers were thinking. The verdict from Bruner (and also from Bereiter, and many many others) is YES; the ontogenesis of knowledge is simply a fast-forward replay of its sociogenesis. But I think there too we have to say that the parallels are seductive but ultimately grossly overstated, and ultimately founded on a lack of faith in the power of language to communicate.
Besides, if microgenesis is just the recapitulation of sociogenesis, then what is ontogenesis?
David Kellogg
Seoul National University of Education
PS: I think we should refer to the Zoped as a Zebra Raising, or maybe just a Zebra Crossing. But what we really need is a new name for the functional method of dual stimulation. The Fumedvastym? Fume Distillation?

--- On Tue, 11/16/10, Rod Parker-Rees <R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk> wrote:

From: Rod Parker-Rees <R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk>
Subject: RE: [xmca] zpd zbr zedpd and zoped
To: "ablunden@mira.net" <ablunden@mira.net>, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Date: Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 1:43 AM

But Mike's ironic point also highlights the fact that our experience before birth (and immediately after in most parts of the world and for most of history) has been an undifferentiated 'we' (the Ur we or "Primordial-We"). While the infant may have no independent experience of being treated as an independent person the mother has and this is available to the 'we' one too.

All the best,


-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Andy Blunden
Sent: 16 November 2010 00:01
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] zpd zbr zedpd and zoped

Ah! Apologies. I hadn't noticed that "Mike's ironic point" was off line.
The irony was "Why not just withhold 'support' from birth, Andy?"
Andy Blunden wrote:
> Before you can "perform who you are not yet," i.e., an independent
> person, others have to treat you as an independent person. I take
> Mike's ironic point, that /prior to/ that one must have some
> opportunity to know how an independent person acts, but so long as you
> are treated as someone who need help ...
> Andy
> Helen Grimmett (Education) wrote:
>> Interesting angle Andy! I suppose it depends on the view of learning
>> and development you are taking. I came to the zpd via the work of
>> Rogoff and Lave & Wenger so came to view learning as transformation
>> of participation in cultural activities. Then I came to Lois
>> Holzman's work and take the definition of development as the activity
>> of creating who you are by performing who you are not yet. In my
>> understanding of these views, learning and development is only
>> possible with the support of others, by participating in the
>> activities of (and with) others. I have never thought about the
>> relevance of the withdrawal of support - I'll have to ponder on that
>> for a while to see how (or if) it fits in my schema!
>> Interested to hear what others think,
>> Helen
>> On 16 November 2010 01:47, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
>> <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>     Mike, for whatever reason, zoped has never been a concept which
>>     figured very largely in my thinking.
>>     Apart from my interest in understanding social change and
>>     zeitgeist my practical interest in Vygotsky's ideas has been in
>>     relation to practical activity with mature adults, mostly where
>>     the learner is not so much a person, but a group of adults, such
>>     as a union branch or suchlike. But I have also developed an
>>     interest in disability support.
>>     In both these cases, it has always seemed to me that it is the
>>     withdrawal of support which facilitates development, not the
>>     provision of support. Of course, the very act of withdrawal of
>>     support is itself assisting the "learner" in making the
>>     development. Withdrawing support is a variety of support.
>>     Does this fit into the general schema of theorising with zoped?
>>     Andy
>>     mike cole wrote:
>>         Armando.
>>         It seems to me that people can use any term they like in
>>         seeking to index
>>         the processes they believe
>>         to be indicated by Vygotsky. Proximal in English refers to
>>         both time and
>>         space. In Spanish also, I believe as in:
>>         Hasta la semaina *proxima.*
>>         I was simply providing an explanation for my coinage.
>>         mike
>>         On Sat, Nov 13, 2010 at 4:52 AM, Armando Perez Yera
>>         <armandop@uclv.edu.cu <mailto:armandop@uclv.edu.cu>>wrote:
>>             Mike:
>>             Why we do not work ZPD as zone of potencial development.
>>             ZPD as zone of
>>             proximal development taste as space dimension, Potencial
>>             development taste
>>             as time. Also Zone of colective potencial development
>>             taste as SSD (Social
>>             situation of development) And nbot anly as cognitive
>>             proce3ss but as process
>>             of development of pertsonality.
>>             Only some ideas.
>>             Armando
>>             ________________________________________
>>             From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu
>>             <mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu>
>>             [xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu
>>             <mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu>] On Behalf
>>             Of mike cole [lchcmike@gmail.com
>> <mailto:lchcmike@gmail.com>]
>>             Sent: Friday, November 12, 2010 8:23 PM
>>             To: eXtended Mind, Culture,Activity
>>             Subject: [xmca] zpd zbr zedpd and zoped
>>             I am answering David's question about "why zoped." I did
>>             not include it in
>>             my talk because I am uncertain of the audience's national
>>             backgrounds and was assuming "mixed but mostly Russian
>>             speakers". The talk
>>             was supposed to be about 20 minutes long and I was
>>             uncertain of the time. And I was also mindful of the fact
>>             that on Tuesday
>>             following its showing at the Vygotsky readings, I will be
>>             discussing the
>>             issues raised, and whatever people feel like talk about
>>             via skype,
>>             sooooooo.
>>             As many know, when i organize obrazovanie, I like to mix
>>             serious stuff with
>>             play. Also, I have a long term interest in the the
>>             enculturation
>>             practices and processes of peoples for whom literacy has
>>             not been a central
>>             part of enculturation until, perhaps, recent times. And, I
>>             enjoy
>>             participating in the forms of activity that emerge when
>>             zopeds are created
>>             as a part of our research and educational practices.
>>             With that context (add or subtract to taste) the notion of
>>             a zoped came
>>             from
>>             two sources. First of all, it IS easier to say! :-)
>>             Secondly, it involves forms of pedagogy -- arranging for
>>             the young to
>>             acquire valued skills, knowledge, belief, behaviors, etc --
>>             Third, when it works, it seems like "something happened,"
>>             a qualitative
>>             field that sometimes can be like flow, sometimes can be
>>             triggered by timely juxtapositions, montage-like. And it
>>             seems to lead to a
>>             more inclusive, more integrated way of relating to the
>>             world at least
>>             in that setting. Whatever this "something" is, it has a
>>             magical quality to
>>             it.
>>             In Liberia when and where I pretended to work once upon a
>>             time the most
>>             respected, revered, and feared members of the community were
>>             shamen, a concept referred to in Liberia at the time
>>             (across language
>>             groups, so far as I could tell) as a Zo, what popular
>>             culture refers to
>>             as "witch doctors." They were THE teachers. But they
>>             worked through magic.
>>             That about sums up my idea of the zone of proximal
>>             development. It requires
>>             sage pedagogy and a touch of magic. When those are combined,
>>             they, of course, constitute a zo-ped.
>>             I personally recommend spending time in such third spaces.
>>             :-))
>>             mike
>>             __________________________________________
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>>             Universidad Central "Marta Abreu" de Las Villas.
>>             http://www.uclv.edu.cu
>>             Universidad Central "Marta Abreu" de Las Villas.
>>             http://www.uclv.edu.cu
>>         __________________________________________
>>         _____
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>>     --
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>     *Andy Blunden*
>>     Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>> <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
>>     Videos: http://vimeo.com/user3478333/videos
>>     Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857
>>     <http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857>
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*Andy Blunden*
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Videos: http://vimeo.com/user3478333/videos
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