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RE: [xmca] Literacy instruction: was Bruner on Vygotsky

Jay wrote:

"Literacy education has only been a peripheral part of my own work, though I've been a theorist-in-the-wings for a long time and closely connected with many people more central to the enterprise, including in Australia."

and, while i agree with all of your points, Jay - your comments ring especially true for me in the following quote:

"We know that a good theory can lead to educationally and socially dysfunctional practice. But I think it is also the case, though not as often recognized, that a bad theory can lead to good practice. The complexity and messiness of real life means that every theory is a grossly oversimplified representation or model, and most of the real intellectual work comes in "implementing" it. So much more can be added (or taken away) in this process, that the chain of rational connection between theory and outcomes is fragile or altogether illusory. Theories are no more than tools, and their results are only as good as the people who use them. It is those people, and their judgement, that makes the difference, not, in most cases, the theory. Good clubs don't make great golfers, good brushes can paint ugly pictures. And it's amazing what a great artist can make out of even the shabbiest and least likely materials."



Phillip White, PhD
University of Colorado Denver
School of Education
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