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Re: [xmca] spontaneous concepts indeed
On 26 April 2011 12:24, Temple <email@example.com> wrote:
> I realize some time's gone by, but the question Jody's (Joanne's) post from
> last week raises for me is this:
> Can scientific concepts develop in non-structured learning settings? I
> mean those other than schooling, team play, church, work, etc. How about
> from being online a lot - just surfing, playing games, or reading blogs - or
> from spending one's time at the library or bookstore alone?
> It seems to me that such scenarios blur the lines between spontaneous and
> scientific situations, so to speak. That is, they are natural, everyday
> activities that lend themselves to repetition and reflective thinking and
> naming, where the structure of the activity itself (as opposed to a more
> experienced mentor) spurs on one's reflection, generalization, and
> "scientification" of knowledge.
As you say, Anthony, rigour can exist within the nature of the task and the
manner of the undertaking. I would still call this a structured setting,
however, and distinguish it from "idle play". In terms of the social
origins of this activity, I would look upon it as a kind of bootstrapping:
at some point the instruments employed by the learner have been introduced
An interesting aspect to learning in relative isolation is the degree to
which imagination is involved and how concretely embedded in particular
activities these conceptions are.
In order to gain an appreciation of a phenomena mediated through scientific
concepts it helps to be concretely involved with the phenomena (e.g.
building a radio/engine/program):
+ The discovery of problems in an activity.
+ The thinking of a problem, modelling/scientific concepts.
But, it seems to me, these concepts are still very much embedded in these
particular concrete activities. In order to imaginatively employ these
conceptions and to make more use of them socially, considerable mental
elaboration needs to be undertaken, I believe. That is, there is a social
and conceptual interpenetration:
+ The lifting of a problem from (some of) its context, (action/activity).
+ The thinking of a problem into a shape and form that can be serialised in
speech (form and p
+ The reinterpretation of representations (such as verbal structures) that
give rise to different qualitative appreciations, i.e. "trying out" or
"living" a particular set of ideas that constitutes imagination and semiotic
+ An appreciation of the relations between sensory, poetic, philosophic and
scientific images and the skill in moving between them (i.e. making use of
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