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Re: [xmca] Imitation and the Zoped: Time to summarize?

I was just reading through some material from Vygotsky's "Problem of Age," and the question I would like to ask educators who use the idea of Zone of Proximal Development is this. Vygotsky places at the centre of his analysis of child development, the idea of a "Central Line of Development." For example:

   “... at each given age level, we always find a /central
   neoformation/ seemingly leading the whole process of development ...
   The processes of development that are more or less directly
   connected with the basic neoformation we shall call /central lines
   of development /at the given age and all other partial processes and
   changes occurring at the given age, we shall call /peripheral lines
   of development. /It is understood that processes that are central
   lines of development at one age become peripheral lines of
   development at the following age, ...” (p. 197)

So a list of "what a child can do with assistance" includes for example a whole range of tasks which lie within their development stage of development, but play no part in their future life in the given social situation. Other psychological functions on the other hand may lie on the central line of development, and as such are preparing the way for a qualitative leap in the level of psychological functioning, so (what is the phrase?) one step in instruction may lead to two steps in development.

Does this idea form part of the idea of ZPD/zoped? Or is it taken for granted?


mike cole wrote:
It is my sense that perhaps we have reached a plateau in our discussion of
Imitation and the Zoped.
We have a number of examples of different "kinds" of imitation. But
surprisingly (why did I not see this coming?) we were less clear about zoped
than imitation, and perhaps owing to this lack of clarity we veered of to
consider (e.g., we used the method of dual stimulation on ourselves)
imagination and creativity as a way of better specifying the senses in which
we meant "imitation."

The question for me is, where to now? My intuition tells me that we ought to
consolidate our accumulated material about imitation in relation to
imagination and creativity and then return to consider what a zoped is (I am
talking about pedagogy with a little magic here, Lois, since it is part of
my understand  of the ZBR, but can translate among acronyms if they do not
proliferate too much!)

I am pretty clear about David's advice that take the unconcious/conscioius
distinction seriously. It is going to become important when we think about
imitation vis a vis the zoped.It is my sense that we are collectively
unclear on  this score. Ana ( I think! So many interesting notes), suggested
that even adults may (perhaps must) imitate unconsciously as a condition of
social interaction. That accords with my experience in dealing in a local
language that is not my own and a variety of unsystematic observations that
Ana's note brings to mind. Ana also reminds of the many social-pragmatic
functions of different kinds of imitation, making any hard and fast scale
difficult to create.

Now all we need is for the New Year's Fairy to jump up and hand us a

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*Andy Blunden*
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