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Re: [xmca] Leading activities and central lines of development

Larry-- Both David and Martin have been working over some time to get
straight and communicable the role of the idea of "central line of
development" a la LSV. The set of leading activities in the article you
site, is i believe, Elkonin's reworking of Vygotsky ideas from late in LSV's
life. Maybe its all in LSV, others in the discussion will know.

For the ways in which we at LCHC got into this discussion, see

There are other relevant papers at lchc.ucsd. edu.

I believe that the intense work on these issue by XMCA members of the past
couple of years holds a lot of potential for sorting out the cluster of
concepts involved in this discussion.

PS-- In so far as the sequence of activities serves as an "external" version
of Piaget's stage theory,
which in some presentations one could suspect was the case, the leading
activities will be age linked.
The errors into which that view leads you have been expounded in some detail
by, for example,
Artin Goncu and Suzanne Gaskins.

On Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 8:33 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Larry, I am not familiar with Mike and Natalia's paper, and they obviously
> will speak for themselves. But I think that the central or leading activity,
> and certainly a central or leading *motive* is not the same thing as
> "central line of development," which refers to that activity which promotes
> development towards a structural change in the psyche of the developing
> person. This may or may not be present in any given situation, for a child
> playing a game or a grad student participating.
> Andy
> Larry Purss wrote:
>> Help with a question
>> Recently Andy asked a question about clarification of the concept of
>> "central lines of development.
>> I  have been reading the article by Mike Cole and Natalia Gajdamaschko and
>> there is a section with the heading
>> "Heterogeneity of 'Leading' Activity in the Course of a Single Game
>> Episode"
>> Tmike and Natalia suggest there were several "leading" activities
>> POTENTIALLY present, each associated with differentage periods.  Leading
>> activities such as:
>> - need to be loved and accepted
>> - play
>> - learning
>> - peer interaction
>> - work
>> My question is if these leading activities may not be age specific.  Each
>> of
>> us may be centrally motivated by a particular leading activity which
>> fluctuates from moment to moment in activity.  In the example in the
>> article
>> an undergraduate, Jill Silverstein, was writing field notes of the fifth
>> dimension activity.  Mike and Natalia when interpreting the fieldnotes
>> suggest Jill initially had a central motive of affiliation while play was
>> the leading activity for the children.  There was a confusion about the
>> rules of the game and the adult entered into the game and learning at that
>> moment became a central motive.
>> There were many  transitions in motives during the game  and Mike and
>> Natalia summed up this section by stating,
>> "As this example makes clear, not only are the girls able to be a "head
>> taller" but a "head shorter" in the course of a single stretch of a joint
>> game play mediated by the computer game and each other" [p.275]
>> This statement points to notions of volition [agency] which are fluid and
>> interchangeable when contained within supportive contexts [interweaving]
>> How does this observation fit with the notion of a CENTRAL line of
>> development? Is it possible that there is more heterogeneity in the lines
>> of
>> development than implied in the concept "central"?  Could the concept of
>> central lines of development be describing historical forms of
>> development which develop in particular settings when 5 year olds enter
>> school environments?
>> I may still be confused and misinterpreting Mike and Natalia's position
>> but
>> I am trying to understand if some of the more basic leading activities
>> [such
>> as affiliation] remain central WHEN THREATENED but become implicit and
>> taken
>> for granted when the person is secure and contained.  If there is some
>> merit
>> to this position then issues of security and attachment needs may recede
>> into the background and other leading activities come to the foreground
>> when
>> basic attachment needs are met.  However when there is a perceived threat
>> to  basic security needs then earlier leading activities or motives also
>> return at any age.
>> Larry
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> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
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