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[xmca] Might we pause to consider? Imitation and the Zoped

Hi David, Andy and Peter -- I have been in airports and other family homes
for a while which makes time to participate in the conversation for a while.
I was wondering if you might find it interesting to pause a bit and expand
on the issue of the inter-relationship between imitation and the zoped. Here
is why.

First of all, each of these terms is used in a variety of ways in academic
discourse, and I am not always clear what people are gesturing at when
they use either term. I think it would be helpful to figure out if different
senses of  "imitation" are in any way related to different understandings of
the term "zone of proximal development."

Here is another example to add to David's language learning one. It involves
learning arithmetic in a Liberian rural school in the 1960's. It is
published somewhere in an early report of our work on mathematics learning
acurately, but this is what I recall.

Observing in the schools, my colleague, John Gay, heard the children
intoning their times tables (think here of the intonation, as in David's
example, la da da da da ; la da da da da,,,,,,,,,,,, The children speak
little or no English, and Liberian English is, to American ears, rather sing
songy. John asked a child what he was doing. "Singing, was the answer. I
know the tune I do not know the words." These same children, when I helped
them with their homework, would complain that the teacher was unfair. He
gave examples like 2+2=4 and 3+6=9 but on the test he put 5+3=? and 6+4=?
How are we supposed to know that if he didn't teach it to us." We would
ordinarily refer to this as "rote" learning.

In the context of this discussion, it might be thought of as forms of
imitation in instruction.

My hope would be that by pausing to dig more deeply into this combination of
concepts, we might learn a lot about where we are slip sliding around
without even noticing it.

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