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

Hi Mike and Andy

The suggestion to grapple with the notion of zopeds or the ZPD is relevant
to school discussions or narratives because it is becoming a common sense or
folk psychological term [in school settings] for explaining reasons for
actions.  Andy, I hope others elaborate on your question about CENTRAL lines
of development. At this moment I want to add two other questions that I
wonder about in trying to understand zopeds.

Daniel D. Hutto in an article in the journal "Philosophical Explorations"
[2008, Vol. 11, p.175-192] titled "The Narrative Practice Hypothesis:
Clarifications and Implications" quotes Ryle [1949] to develop his notion
that folk psychology [giving reasons for actions] is a practical skill and
not a theory of mind.

Ryle stated,

"Learning how or improving in ability is not like learning "that" or
acquiring information. Truth can be imparted, procedures can only be
inculcated, and while inculcation is a gradual process, imparting is
relatively sudden.  It makes sense to ask at what moment someone became
apprised of a truth but not to ask at what moment someone acquired skill."
[cited in Hutto, p.185]

When reflecting on notions of ZPD and the activities encountered in schools
are these distinctions sometimes confused?

My second question has to do with two contrasting metaphors of zopeds -
zopeds as scaffolding and zopeds as dialogue.  Hutto's article contrasting
2nd person and 3rd person accounts of folk psychology seems relevant to
discussions of scaffolding and dialogues.
The dominant cognitive models to explain our capacity for folk psychological
explanations of reasons for actions are Theory of Mind [theory theory] and
simulation theory [self-reflective referencing]  Hutto suggests BOTH these
theories explain how we make 3rd person SPECULATIONS about the contents of
other minds. Hutto emphasizes that 3rd personal mindreading accounts do not
account for how folk psychological competence [as practice] is regularly
deployed in 2nd person contexts.  Hutto suggests that 3rd person accounts
are socioculturally acquired abilities to produce and interpret folk
psychology narratives. [giving and receiving reasons for actions in 3rd
person speculative contexts] This competence is a "guessing" skill in
imagining what another person is thinking.

Hutto then contrasts this 3rd person socioculturally acquired competence
with 2nd person contexts.  He states,

"It is important to note that situations calling  for third-person
speculations are quite unlike 2nd personal contexts in which the other
supplies  details of their reasons for acting DIRECTLY IN DIALOGUE (usually
spinning out an extended narrative IN RESPONSE to prompts and questions). It
is because such on-line interaction is PRECLUDED in cases of third-person
speculation that we must construct the relevant narratives for others by
enlisting ADDITIONAL RESOURCES - resources that allow us to "inform" our
productive FP-competence." (p.184)

The two questions stated above [practice/truth] and [2nd person-3rd person]
seem relevant to the scaffold-dialogue contrasts in metaphorical
explanations of zopeds.  I intuitively sense that school settings are biased
to 3rd person relational contexts [scaffolding] whereas preschool play
settings emphasize "imaginal" dialogical 2nd person contexts.  Is it
possible to maintain an emphasis on 2nd person contexts in the later or
"higher" contexts of central lines of development?  As one possible example,
creating a zoped for 12 year old girls where they imaginatively write
personal "imaginative" stories as contexts to "find" "discover" or "enact"
their VOICE [as metaphor] in school settings.


On Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 12:00 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> 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?
> Andy
> 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
>> summary!
>> mike
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> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
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