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Re: [xmca] Taking culture into account/Doing harm?
- To: "White, Phillip" <Phillip.White@ucdenver.edu>
- Subject: Re: [xmca] Taking culture into account/Doing harm?
- From: mike cole <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2012 16:17:30 -0700
- Cc: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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Hi Phillip -- Thanks for bringing us back to the reason for my belief that
Richardson article was relevant to xmca readers .I, too, saw the paper as
consisting of two parts and (perhaps mistakenly) thought it strategic to
raise point one before point two.
You put the matter well:
*i understand Richardson's critique as being both intercultural as well as
intracultural - intercultural as his cultural heritage is one that has been
oppressed to a near point of extinction by we european-rooted colonizers,
and he is calling attention to the historical and present day fact that our
european based epistemologies marginalize at best, while usually attempting
to erase Indigenous epistemologies. furthermore, i*ronically, the very
tools of multicultural education result more in enclosure of Indigenous
epistemologies rather than inclusion.
And, I was suggesting, I among others are among those who have engaged in
concerns about multi-cultural education TO the european-rooted
epistemologies. For part one, it was the way in which multi-cultural
programs that have mastery of only the euro-rooted views seemed the issue,
hence my focus on two-way bilingual/biculturalism...... which virtually
never turns out to be symmetric.
I'll still with hold comment on what we might call the spiritualist
vis a vis CHAT. There I think matters are complicated (at least) by the
selective reading of the CHAT tradition. (All our readings are selective of
course, but this would be the matter for discussion -- if we ever got to
The issues are still well worth discussion. That is what I think.
On Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 10:32 AM, White, Phillip <Phillip.White@ucdenver.edu
> good morning, Mike, and everyone else who've read both the Lave article
> and the Richardson article -
> from my perspective, the Richardson article is a good example of Lave's
> call to be will to take a political stance in one's work.
> i understand Richardson's critique as being both intercultural as well as
> intracultural - intercultural as his cultural heritage is one that has been
> oppressed to a near point of extinction by we european-rooted colonizers,
> and he is calling attention to the historical and present day fact that our
> european based epistemologies marginalize at best, while usually attempting
> to erase Indigenous epistemologies. furthermore, ironically, the very
> tools of multicultural education result more in enclosure of Indigenous
> epistemologies rather than inclusion.
> on the other-hand, Richardson's critique is also intracultural so far as
> he is a fellow academic using multiple academic cultural tools of
> argumentative discourse to press his point.
> what strikes me thus far is that it appears that rather than engaging in
> his critique, we've veered off (my perception) into the morality of
> inter-intra-cultural critique.
> i think that Richardson is putting forth epistemologies that i can barely
> wrap my head around: "sharing a spirit"; "shadow memories and imagination
> are foundational to rational thinking"; "shimmers of imagination are
> reason"; "shadow relations in visionary narratives", etc. part of my mind
> rebels against what i think of as - i can't find the right word at this
> moment. but it's akin to transubstantiation.
> at the same time, Richardson's work calls into question the genealogy of
> CHAT is that part of its roots are in marxist communism, a theory that
> assumes that communism is the way, truth and light for the organization of
> human activities. Wertsch demonstrates this quite clearly in his research
> in Estonia, in which Estonians being educated within the russian hegemony
> of soviet history, learned the language structures to be repeated as a kind
> of catechism in order to do well at school, all the while learning cultural
> "truths" at home about Estonian history. (it is of the greatest irony that
> within the three baltic nations that now russians are utilizing the
> language structure of victimhood, all the while denying the history of
> russian oppression. but, american history as understood by most americans
> has little understanding of american oppression.)
> i think that one of our shared cultural practices as academics is that we
> want to demonstrate what we do know, and become deeply hesitant to discuss
> areas in which we're pretty ignorant. this is my take on why from my point
> of view it's been so difficult to tackle Richardson's primary argument -
> which is that historically, our practices as americans has been the
> eradication of Indigenous epistemologies, though we're perfectly happy to
> display their cultural artifacts in our museums.
> i would think that those of you from any part of the world that's been
> colonized even if your roots are those of the colonizers should be able to
> and, in the immortal words of Eugene, "What do you think?"
> Phillip White, PhD
> Urban Community Teacher Education Program
> School of Education & Human Development
> University of Colorado Denver
> From: email@example.com [firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf
> Of mike cole [email@example.com]
> Sent: Sunday, July 22, 2012 10:15 AM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture,Activity
> Subject: [xmca] Taking culture into account/Doing harm?
> The attached article has been hanging around my desktop for some time now.
> is critical of people like myself who had sought ways in ways to assist
> kids from
> non-mainstream cultural communities when they encounter standard schooling.
> At least one of the shoes provided seems to fit. Seems worth reflecting on
> the critique
> as a whole.
> Anyone interested?
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