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Re: [xmca] Bruner on Vygotsky

David--- I am reading along trying to understand the flow of the discussion
and I come up against your statement that

But Dewey believed in reflex arcs--that is, the good old Saussurean idea
that language was stimulus-concept-response.

I very heavily associate Dewey with his devastating attack on the
reflex-arc concept which seems to bear a lot of resemblence to
Vygotsky-Goethe-Hegel view that in the beginning is the deed.

Could you back up and set me on the right course?

Bill-- A shocker the Englemann is peddling DE. Just been reviewing its
origins in Toronto, lo these 50 years. Chilling.

On Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 2:36 PM, David Kellogg <vaughndogblack@yahoo.com>wrote:

> Bill--
> Thanks for writing. I for one am very interested (in your accounts of
> reading programmes in Australia) but also somewhat taken aback. No mention
> of the work of Bev Derewianka, Frances Christie, Claire Painter, Jim
> Martin, Ruqaiya Hasan...Michael Halliday? What is going on down under?
> I was also taken aback when I took your advice and revisited the Bruner. I
> remember being very impressed by this ten or fifteen years ago. Now I find
> it appalling.
> For one thing, it's appallingly written. This is p. 72:
> "Language is (in Vygotsky's sense as in Dewey's) a way of sorting out
> one's thoughts about things. Thought is a mode of organizing perception and
> action. But all of them, each in their way (sic), also reflects (sic) the
> tools and aids available in the culture for use in carrying out action."
> I guess we are really talking about Vygotsky's and Dewey's allegedly
> "shared" sense of language (and not their shared sense of "is"). But Dewey
> believed in reflex arcs--that is, the good old Saussurean idea that
> language was stimulus-concept-response. Thinking and Speech is all about
> how the relationship between thinking and speech develops. It develops in
> many ways, but it never looks like this.
> So Bruner says that Vygotsky and Dewey say that language (wherever it
> comes from) just organizes thought (wherever that came from). Thought
> organizes perception and action (and also, on the next page, reflects on
> itself). And action reflects the cultural tools for carrying out itself. No
> wonder Bruner finds that Vygotsky's genius is not massive and glacial like
> Piaget's, but only aphoristic and sketchy like Wittgenstein's!
> Bruner finds that there is a contradiction between Vygotsky's finding
> (actually that of Claparede and Piaget) that consciousness of a function
> arises AFTER unconscious mastery of it and his assertion that the only
> "good" learning is that which leads development. This assumes that learning
> is equal to conscious mastery of a function. But there are no grounds for
> that assumption, and there are two grounds for rejecting it.
> First of all, learning refers to the process of mastery and not to its
> product. If learning is equal to conscious mastery, then learning is just,
> to use Bruner's phrase, a thought reflecting on itself.
> Secondly, learning does not refer to development. It can lead
> development, it can also lead to riding a bicycle, swimming, and a better
> game of golf or lead nowhere it all. Learning can limp well behind
> development (which is what I see in a lot of foreign langauge classes
> here). You can, as Koffka says, learn a pfennig's worth and get a whole
> mark of developent, but you can also roll over, fall asleep and completely
> forget what you have learned (I do a lot of that in Russian class these
> days).
> Most of what Bruner is describing in his account of the Bruner, Ross and
> Wood experiment in the subsequent pages has nothing to do with the zone of
> proximal development: he is describing a zone of proximal learning, in
> which development is synonymous with lengthening Dewey's reflex arc by
> extending the distance between stimulus and response.
> The only thing I get out of this is that we should really have a good look
> at those cultural tools and try to sort out the sheep from the goats.
> That's just what the Halliday school was doing, with their idea of genre.
> What happened?
> David Kellogg
> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies..
> --- On Tue, 1/24/12, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
> From: Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Bruner on Vygotsky
> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 6:46 AM
> Hi Bill
> I appreciate you engaging with this topic. I would like to encourage you to
> go into some depth, bringing in Bruner's insights distinguishing Piagetian
> and Vygotskian approaches. The Vancouver school district is searching for
> effective ways to support first nations students
> Also, if anyone has any information, articles, or musings on a particular
> computer reading program [from LEXIA].  It would help.me to reflect on and
> consider  the consequences of Vancouver buying a site licence for Lexia to
> distribute in Vancouver schools who want to participate
> Larry
> On Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 1:53 AM, Bill Kerr <billkerr@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Ch 5 "The Inspiration of Vygotsky" In "Actual Minds, Possible Worlds"
> > http://wisdomandwit.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/zpd_bruner.pdf
> >
> > I was told to read this for HW in an accelerated literacy course I
> recently
> > attended. Accelerated Literacy is one of the methods used in teaching
> > indigenous Australians and low socio-economic students. See
> > http://www.nalp.cdu.edu.au/index.html for a bit more detail.  There are
> > two
> > other methodologies I am aware of used in Australia. One is called
> > (Making Up Lost Time in Literacy) and the other is Zig Engelmann's Direct
> > Instruction, used by Noel Pearson's group in Cape York.
> >
> > To understand Bruner's point properly I had to read pp. 72-77 carefully
> > where he elaborates on the contradiction b/w children having to learn for
> > themselves (a sort of Piagetian view) and the adult really teaching them
> > across the ZPD rather than just broadcasting knowledge at them.
> >
> > After my 2 days training in AL (another 2 days due later in February) I
> > think they have worked out how to do that in an "honest" way. ie. the
> nitty
> > gritty of raising the literacy level which involves a detailed analysis
> of
> > the text of good writers. They selected writers, text, various processes
> > gone through, then shortish passages from those texts and then did the
> > analysis of them in such a way that real skills were being transferred.
> > This is very truncated. I can go into a bit more detail if requested.
> > Altogether I found it an inspirational coming together of theory and
> > practice. My background is in maths / science / IT teaching (and
> secondary)
> > so I hadn't really gone into the literacy side in this depth before.
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