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[xmca] Kozulin & Feuerstein and the mediated learning paradigm

Thought I would ask others to respond to the perspective of Kozulin and
Feuerstein's Mediated Learning Experience [MLE] paradigm and its contrast
with the notion of ZPD.
In the article I've attached on page 5 the authors state,
"Both MLE and IE focus on the formation of the cognitive prerequisites of
learning in students.  The process of acquisition of learning material
requires certain cognitive prerequisites beyond that of the basic functions
of perception, memory, and attention.  The student is supposed to be able to
DETECT the problem in the pool of raw data, to SELECT the relevant
parameters, to FORM hypothesis and check them, and so on.  The inadequate
school performance of the student can easily stem from UNDERDEVELOPMENT of
these prerequisites rather than poor acquisition of specific rules or
operations.....IE serves as an operational tool that allows teachers to
develop these previously lacking prerequisites in a SYSTEMATIC way.
Though there is an obvious affinity between the Vygotskian notion of
learning activity and the process of the formation of cognitive
prerequisites discussed above, there is also a certain difference between
the goals of MLE-based learning and learning according to the Vygotskian
paradigm.  According to Feuerstein et al (1980), the acquisition of MLE does
not directly depend on either CONTENT of learning or MODALITY of

This MLE paradigm is contrasted with Vygotsky's approach which emphasizes
the modality of interection. The authors state,

"Vygotsky (1978) and his followers (Cole and Scribner, 1974: Scribner 1997),
on the contrary [to MLE] place considerable emphasis on changes occurring in
the child's reasoning under the influence of the acquisition of higher order
symbolic tools, first of all literacy and writing.  For them, there is a
principal distinction between interactions carried out non-verbally, orally,
and with the help of written symbolization.  Writing externalizes thought,
takes it out of its concrete context, and makes it available for CONSCIOUS
analysis..  Literacy skills require an analytic approach.  They are acquired
consciously and deliberately, thus shifting cognitive functions from the
natural responsive mode to the cultural deliberate mode.  One may
legitimately pose the question of whether the same type of 'transcendence'
or mediation of meaning can be achieved with and without the experience of
literacy." (p.6)

The authors emphasize that Vygotsky's approach highlights that each subject
in school has its own conceptual structure the acquisition of which depends
on the theoretical mode of learning proposed by Vygotskians. In contrast the
authors suggest MLE is a tool for developing the BASIC COGNITIVE
PREREQUISITES which interface with the conceptual structure of the
theoretical mode of learning subject matter, and

"a proper borderline should be found at which the GENERAL FUNCTION promoted
by IE become absorbed and subjugated by this higher order conceptual
structure.  Vygotsky (1978) indicated that 'natural' cognitive functions do
not disappear with the emergence of higher order literacy-based functions,
but become incorporated and transformed within the new conceptual systems..
One may say that, in a similar way, BASIC COGNITIVE PREREQUISITES become
absorbed within the new conceptual systems.. Thus, the last outcome for
teacher training can be formulated as the necessity for a teacher to
order cognitive systems which alone can support conceptual learning"

I am trying to link these notions of BASIC cognitive prerequisites with
Lakoff and Johnson's notions of PRIMARY METAPHORS but that is for another
discussion.  I was wondering what others thought about the assumption of
basic cognitive prerequisites, [not perception, or attention which are more
basic and general] that must be mediated PRIOR to theoretical conceptual
systems of subject matter are taught.?

I have my doubts that content can be separated and basic cognitive
prerequisites taught PRIOR to teaching conceptual systems but MLE posits
these underlying basic cognitive prerequisites must be in place BEFORE
teaching specific theoretical subject matter



Attachment: NOVEMBER 29 KOZULIN ALEX Mediated Learning Paradigm.doc
Description: MS-Word document

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