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Re: [xmca] MCA Featured Article by Mike Rose
I came relatively late to the field of academics. I am a former "spot
welder" that worked for subcontractor with IBM and NCR to manufacture CPU
covers and point of sale cash register housings.Spot welding uses the
"kiss" of copper electrodes, that through the dynamic of resisting current
instead of voltage, steel is heated up
and melted together is a confined area or spot. This work required
mathematical understanding in micrometer use to measure metal thickness,
that was combined through ratio computation (mostly calculated through
inner shorthand derived through experiencial/kinesthetic relationships
metal thickness and numerical units of resistance current). Plus while I
worked on this job for 8-9 hours a day, I was able to think through and
make sense of
many written texts through the higher mental processes of "incubation".
Also when I taught English as a second language to Bosnian refugees, one of
the texts I used was a welding manual. Since my student already
knew all the processes you mentioned, and was looking to be certified as a
welder in the U.S. his kinesthetic experience as a welder in Bosnia enabled
to transfer action into English through the higher mental processes of
personalized concept formation.
Concept formation that begins with the body and moves inward reminds me
Vico's work In *New Science* (1744), he states that “it is noteworthy that
in all language, the greater part of the expressions relating to inanimate
things is formed by metaphors from the human body and its parts and from
the human senses and passions” (p. 405). In Vico’s view, this formation of
the mind through language began through metaphorical signs and gestures.
Metaphor became the primary way of knowing and understanding experience in
My reading of both Dewey and Vygotsky's views of education concur with
On Sun, Feb 12, 2012 at 11:38 PM, David Kellogg <firstname.lastname@example.org>wrote:
> Welding was something I learned through legitimate peripheral
> participation at the pineapple cannery where I worked when I was sixteen.
> It didn't require any mathematics, but it did, as Rose says, require a very
> sensitive "feel" for how hot the metal is, how long your arc is, and how
> fast you can travel with it.
> I don't really agree that overhead welding is "something else again". In
> overhead welding, you have to move the "stinger" (the electrode) quickly
> enough so that your puddle of liquid metal remains small and cold and
> doesn't drip in your face (well, on your face mask). One of the parameters
> of welding (puddle size) is more important than the others, but it ithe
> same (semi-)skill with the same parameters.
> And that's the problem I think is worth talking about. Once you learn flat
> welding and vertical welding, you can "graduate" to overhead, because it's
> not "something else"; it's manifestly the same skill. And there is a lot
> you can do with this skill. I worked in a cannery, on a locomotive assembly
> line, and eventually in a specialized shop which made racing car engines in
> But (it seems to me) you can't graduate to mathematics, and you can't take
> the skill from one domain to another: my welding put me into college. But
> it didn't write the papers for me and I eventually dropped out and went
> back to welding.
> So it seems to me that PART of the problem this article raises has to do
> with the subject matter itself: welding is really the kind of lower level
> psychological function that Vygotsky talks about: typing, swimming, and
> playing golf. It's the kind of work which necessarily and
> always--regardless of the way we teach it--will keep workers in their
> place, and it will do this no matter how we teach it.
> Because it does NOT generalize to things like mathematics, it does not (as
> far as I can see) lead workers any further than overhead welding. Because
> it does NOT involve language it doesn't really change your word meanings or
> your concepts (I learned welding through legitimate peripheral
> participation from workers who spoke dozens of different languages that I
> could not speak--but neither of us learned any actual word meanings from
> each other). And because it does NOT involve formal discipline it cannot
> really develop higher psychological functions.
> Writing is different. Writing skills DO generalize to a vast domain of
> knowledge, including reading and thinking. Writing skills DO involve
> language and they are cumulative and recursive in a way that welding is
> not. Above all, writing DOES involve formal discipline, and it is in itself
> the external "line of developent" of cross cultural and even cross
> generational communication.
> I often wonder if legitimate peripheral participation is really a
> legitimate way of communicating development, or if it is simply a method of
> skill learning. In my own experience, it works really well for semi-skilled
> labor like welding.
> But I rather doubt it can take you further than that. Perhaps Mike
> Rose senses that, and perhaps he even means it, but he doesn't express it.
> Curiously, I think the reason is that although he is an excellent writer,
> he is not a welder.
> David Kellogg
> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies .
> --- On Sat, 2/11/12, Robert Lake <email@example.com> wrote:
> From: Robert Lake <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Subject: Re: [xmca] MCA Featured Article by Mike Rose
> To: email@example.com, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <
> Date: Saturday, February 11, 2012, 5:21 AM
> I am so glad you published this Andy.
> The topic if crucial in any discussion about educating for social justice
> in a culture that
> relegates vocational education to the "loser track". My son is a member of
> the IBEW and a lineman for Georgia Power Co.
> and he sent this link to me to share with my colleagues in education.
> Robert Lake
> On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 11:49 PM, Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > The issue of MCA 19(1) about to be published has a Featured Article by
> > Mike Rose: "Rethinking Remedial Education and the Academic-Vocational
> > Divide." If all goes as promised, Taylor & Francis should be offering it
> > for free download as of today. But a PDF is attached just in case! The
> > issue also contains commentaries on Mike Rose's article by Norton Grubb,
> > Kris Gutierrez, Sara Goldrick-Rab.
> > The article is a scathing criticism of the US public education system,
> > one which makes very specific suggestions for improvement based on a life
> > time of experience. It is also written in popularly accessible language
> > rather than the usual academic genre. Rather than the usual practice of
> > putting to a vote the article for discussion on xmca, it seemed crazy not
> > to simply nominate this one. So please see attachment.
> > Andy
> > --
> > ------------------------------**------------------------------**
> > ------------
> > *Andy Blunden*
> > Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/**toc/hmca20/18/1<
> > Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
> > Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.**aspx?partid=227&pid=34857<
> > __________________________________________
> > _____
> > xmca mailing list
> > email@example.com
> > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> *Robert Lake Ed.D.
> *Assistant Professor
> Social Foundations of Education
> Dept. of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading
> Georgia Southern University
> P. O. Box 8144
> Phone: (912) 478-5125
> Fax: (912) 478-5382
> Statesboro, GA 30460
> *Democracy must be born anew in every generation, and education is its
> *-*John Dewey.
> xmca mailing list
> xmca mailing list
*Robert Lake Ed.D.
Social Foundations of Education
Dept. of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading
Georgia Southern University
P. O. Box 8144
Phone: (912) 478-5125
Fax: (912) 478-5382
Statesboro, GA 30460
*Democracy must be born anew in every generation, and education is its
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