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Re: [xmca] Kozulin & Feuerstein and the mediated learning paradigm

Hi Larry--

I am sorry I got caught on the characterization of the contrast that Rueven
F and now Alex K are after. They are both terrific scholars, so continued
dialogue to sort out interpretations would be beneficial, at least to me.

On your specific question: direct instruction of presumed pre-requisites:

I have no singled answer to this question. In general, I strongly prefer a
developmental approach that has organization of teaching/learning presumed
cognitive components to proceed "in the context of the whole" or
"subordinated to the meanigful task of which they are constituents" or
something like that. An illustration of this is our approach to reading as
exemplified in Question Asking Reading or the Moll and Diaz work on
bilingual instruction -- both of which can be found a LCHC. In addition, we
have argued against approaches to reading instruction that follow a "learn
the code, then learn to read for meaning" sequence and all sorts of "level
1-level 2" approaches.

However, I am also aware that it is possible to organize for the acquisition
of "components" before introducing them into a larger "whole task" and
successfully promote the development of more complex cognitive abilities.
The main task, in such cases, I believe, is promote "re-purposing" of the
components in a way that is itself apparent.

The broader discussion of different approaches to promoting cognitive
development through interactive instruction/assessment is an interesting
topic that could be pursued here if people were interested.
On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 5:39 PM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:

> Mike
> I know from this CHAT list  that Kozulin and Feuerstein are not accurate in
> their assessment of the CHAT perspective.  The broader question I was
> asking,  "Is it useful or helpful to try to "teach" basic cognitive
> prerequisites or should those prerequisites be built into subject matter
> content?" Mike, I  taught IE 20 years ago and I consider the person who
> gained the most from this activity was myself as I became more aware of
> basic cognitive prerequisites.  But I always thought these basic processes
> could be incorporated into other school activities such as math or language
> arts.  IE does help a teacher become more aware of the complexity of what
> they are asking students to do but I've often wondered about trying to be
> content neutral and focusing instruction on the basic cognitive
> prerequisites which  become the object of instruction.
> I posted this comment because it clearly articulated a tension I've
> wondered about in teaching "metacognitive strategies" directly as the object
> of activity in contrast to teaching specific content and leading students to
> metacognitive perspectives.  If I am able to get clearer in these
> contrasting approaches, I will be better able to talk to staffs about the
> distinctions.
> On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 4:47 PM, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Larry-- This dialogue goes back a long time and I defer to Alex K. The
>> attribution to focus on the impact of writing on thought does not easily
>> square with what i recall the conclusions of Scribner and Cole and
>> Vygotsky
>> does not emerge from that research as the theoretical lynch pin. Perhaps
>> for
>> this reasons many of my Russian colleagues firmly disavow our conclusions
>> regarding "the consequences of literacy."
>> Perhaps Alex can be more informative.
>> mike
>> On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 4:28 PM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> > 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
>> > interaction."
>> >
>> > 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
>> > 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
>> >
>> > Larry
>> >
>> > Larry
>> >
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