[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
RE: [xmca] Lave in mca
Thanks Larry for the explication of the history of "practice". I keep thinking about the concept of whose voice is legitimate and which voices are used in research, and which are used by common ordinary folks in their daily lives. This is a distance.
Excellent questions, Michael. You wrote: He was of course talking about economic development, but I wonder if it might be related to ontological development. Once you start talking about development, you are talking about human trajectory, and then who gets decide what is a human's trajectory? Can individuals have voice in their own development? Or if once we institute development are we also saying there are those who know about development?
There are so many influences on and ways of defining trajectory. If we accept that the trajectory of individual development is the hypothetical, ever changing fusion of society and the individual, as it is with language and literacy development, we can talk about constraints on individual development. I can use the example of reading development: biological constraints (hearing impaired and the conception of phonemes that are represented by letter combos); environmental constraints (low social economic status, number of books and time spent on reading with others)...but when we are talking about individual development a generalization like a trajectory that is common to all at all stages, is just a generalization that rarely occurs in any individual. Especially for complex functions.
What do you mean about economic development and ontological development? Whose ontological development? This is always the question.
Considering voice again, and who has the right to speak (and do research) about his/her experience is a question of authority. First person, second person, third person perspectives are not really the same as "tone" in a constructed piece of writing. But they can affect tone. They both are interrelated to the common theme of the distance between the researcher and the event being studied. How is the researcher a participant? This can become a question of ontology, right? So we can see research that generates knowledge on an epistemological spectrum if objective positivism is at one end and constructivism is at the other. A question I have with a common depiction of the this relationship is that it does not bring research done with expectations of the acceptable distance together into the same dialog of practice. Researchers who have distance cannot bring themselves into their own research (like the neuroscientists we read about before), and the opposite is often true is more constructivist approaches. Ignoring what has been done experimentally in favor of the experience of the participants and their feelings. I keep trying to reconcile both as viable ways to attempt to understand what is happening to us as individuals, our experience of that and how we can communicate it to others, and how our feelings and thoughts affect what it is we call rational behavior in the pursuit of knowledge. As researchers this is an ongoing reflexive praxis...? I think ethnographers and the craft of ethnography contend with this issue and the issue of tools because they study cultures or groups. Makes sense that the question of distance is going to keep coming up.
Educational research draws from multiple approaches. This is my question? I think we can see the value of looking at research problem from multiple perspectives, but how do we value the research obtained? Is it valued in a personal practice, is it valued in society? Is my value as a researcher decided by the type of approach I use? There are so many distances.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Michael Glassman
Sent: Saturday, July 14, 2012 4:25 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: RE: [xmca] Lave in mca
Voice is extremely important in the action research that emerged out of the adult education movement in Tanzania and the work in Columbia, but I don't think it is in terms of tone. Rather it is about marginalized individuals having any voice at all in their lives - a chance to be a part of who they are. I read recently where Orlando Fals-Borda said he really did not like the word development. He was of course talking about economic development, but I wonder if it might be related to ontological development. Once you start talking about development, you are talking about human trajectory, and then who gets decide what is a human's trajectory? Can individuals have voice in their own development? Or if once we institute development are we also saying there are those who know about development? Questions I am struggling with.
From: email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> on behalf of Larry Purss
Sent: Sat 7/14/2012 1:42 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Lave in mca
Good morning Monica
the theme you are exploring of voice and "tone" of voice expressed in the
1st person, 2nd person, or 3rd person is I believe a central aspect of
exploring action research and the understandings arrived at through these
various uses of voice.
My question seemed straightforward. "What did you learn?" But the
responses that I got from the students, this student in particular, seemed
to point to a conception of learning that Lave (p. 161) characterizes as
"academic, conventional theoretical assumptions about learning and
knowing", something that revolutionizing research ought to resist:
I would like to highlight this phrase,
THE RESPONSES I GOT pointed to a PARTICULAR conception of learning [and I
would add a PARTICULAR conception of psychology]
So as I read your response the issue of *tone* of voice and the locus of
where that voice is expressed seems central to our discussion.
Monica, you next highlighted Jean Lave's 5 specific points which she is
asking us to consider when doing research in the field.
*Revolutionizing* research ought to resist:
1. A concept of individual, internal mental exercise.
2. Only ever produced as a result of typical bureaucratic, institutional
arrangements and trajectories of schooling.
3. Produced in particular through teaching, viewed as a prerequisite for
4. Something that can only be studied from a third-person perspective, thus
producing accounts of learning only as something done to others.
5. Knowledge (viewed as a complex elaboration of information...) is the
purpose, content, and result of what life and learning are all about.
I would like to add another consideration to our understanding of the term
"practice". I got this idea from Vincent Colapietro who got the idea from
readingJohn McDermott and Max H. Fisch. Vincent is exploring the history
of pragmatism as an approach to understanding practice.
Vincent, John, and Max suggest that the notion of practice and practical
today have two very different meanings emerging from the origins of this
word DERIVED from Greece and Rome. This distinction may have significance
for how we currently understand the notion of "practice"
The Greek term PRAGMA: meaning "action, deed, behavior, practice, affair,
pursuit, occupation, business, going concern". The Greek is, or may be
The Latin term FACTUM: emphasizes the completed actuality, the pastness, of
the deed. The Latin is RETROspective
Vincent, John, and Max, see the Greek formula has many advantages over the
Latin. The Greek meaning explores an action still in the course or not yet
begun and even includes conduct that would be conducted and conditions that
may never arise. The Greek leaves room for possibility and generality.
Practice as FACTUM suggests a SINGLE question or problem. Practice as
PRAGMA suggests a tngled interweaving cluster of issues and events.
Psychology as a tradition and discipline had its origins in Europe in the
epoch from 1870 to 1930. This was the time when science was in the
ascendency and the pursuit of FACTUM as a POSITIVE science was the way to
establish legitimacy. PRACTICE and the practical as psychological notions
also were influenced by the prejudice of positive science attempting to
separate from philosophy and theology and literature.
The distinct *tone* of voice which becomes ascendant with this privleging
of positive science as the ideal for psychology is the 3rd person voice.
As I read Jean Lave's article and read your response the issue of *tone* of
voice and 1st person, 2nd person, and 3rd person voices [and which is
legitimate] was circling in the background.
On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 10:17 AM, monica.hansen <
> First, I detached the tail.
> I have started a response to practically every post on Lave's article, but
> I have a 15 minute limit on the amount of time I can spend reading and
> responding to the listserve and so I never reached conclusion on any of the
> other post. (I learned in a professional development workshop earlier this
> year that in order to even have the opportunity to apply for a tenure-track
> position in order to make tenure, I am going to have to learn to say "no"
> to pretty much every kind of social activity that might keep me from my
> academic writing, so I am trying to practice limiting myself.)
> Of course, David K. makes a very good point about the amount of reading
> required to participate intelligently. That too might be a distraction.
> I would also like to respectfully acknowledge the posts made by others who
> are feeling the pressure and responsibility of their roles in academia.
> Lave sets forth several examples of practical revolutionizing research as
> "possibilities" (p. 161). She chooses deliberately examples of research
> about learning that lie outside of "institutional arrangements".
> As an educational researcher, I work within the institutional arrangements
> at multiple levels and so I will draw my examples from my experience. I
> will simultaneously draw on my first person perspective, my second person,
> and my third person perspective. While this may not seem like an example,
> of revolutionizing practice at first read, I have learned that the scale of
> what changes the relations and activities between people is often very
> small and might seem insubstantial if compared to larger, more socially
> public display of political protest and reform.
> Here are two short examples:
> In a wonderful service-learning project done at a public
> elementary school as collaboration between students, teachers, and faculty
> from the university and their pre-service teachers, I interviewed
> elementary students and asked them to tell me what they learned and how
> they learned it on the site where they constructed an outdoor, living
> history museum. The interviews were very fun. I walked around with my
> handheld digital recorder and the students pointed and gestured. They
> happily recalled details from their experience. They were clearly
> enthusiastic about the project and their contributions. On the last day of
> the project, it began to rain and the teachers considered keeping the
> students inside so they wouldn't have to sit in their desks through the
> remainder of the day wearing wet clothes. The students protested, not want
> to miss a day of labor on the project (and I mean labor--they were raking
> up pine needles by the truckload, clearing leaves and brush, painting,
> carrying wood and logs, etc.).
> One of the students, I interviewed the day before, after giving a
> lengthy and enthusiastic report of his activities, paused, after I prompted
> him to conclude about his learning "so what did you learn?"
> "I didn't really learn anything," he said conclusively with a
> smile, shaking his head almost as though he couldn't believe his own
> I was not one of the teachers who taught the standards based
> lessons associated with the project in history and science. I wanted to
> find out what kids would really remember from a project like this so I
> interviewed the students as a teacher, since I had worked in their building
> before, and as a researcher trying to understand the way students learn. My
> question seemed straightforward. "What did you learn?" But the responses
> that I got from the students, this student in particular, seemed to point
> to a conception of learning that Lave (p. 161) characterizes as "academic,
> conventional theoretical assumptions about learning and knowing", something
> that revolutionizing research ought to resist:
> 1. A concept of individual, internal mental exercise.
> 2. Only ever produced as a result of typical bureaucratic, institutional
> arrangements and trajectories of schooling.
> 3. Produced in particular through teaching, viewed as a prerequisite for
> 4. Something that can only be studied from a third-person perspective,
> thus producing accounts of learning only as something done to others.
> 5. Knowledge (viewed as a complex elaboration of information...) is the
> purpose, content, and result of what life and learning are all about.
> It seems that this student did not feel that he could "learn"
> anything by his own activity from his own experience. In the fourth grade,
> his concept of learning was something that could only be produced through
> teaching, and the teaching that he had was not characteristic of the
> typical arrangement of the institution of school in this project.
> Therefore, he concluded that he had not learned anything. While he was able
> to elaborate at length about how to use tools for various jobs on the site,
> and the reasons for the tasks he had done using the tools, he did not
> conclude that this was "learning".
> Another scene from my daily practice:
> A student sets up an appointment to meet with me to find out what
> I want her to write in her paper describing the results of her semester
> long personal research inquiry. I did not just assign the paper, but
> supported their development through the research process, making the
> resources explicitly accessible for them to use the libraries online
> database to search for current articles in education as well as psychology,
> development, and medicine, and linguistics. "Is it like a paper in English
> literature classes, with a thesis?" "I have never written a paper for my
> education classes, just lesson plans." "Can I use the first person?"
> This student is an excellent student. She is responsible and has good
> reading comprehension. Her writing exhibits conventions of academic
> English, probably better than mine. She is smart enough to ask ahead of the
> deadline about my expectations as an instructor because she knows I will
> evaluate her paper for a grade. Not only has she actually read the
> assignment, but she has already looked at the rubric. She will also be a
> teacher, next semester, working with her own students. Her topic: the
> importance of early acquisition of sign language for hearing impaired
> children and how that might help her understand how language and literacy
> are developed in social relations with others.
> She asked this last question, "can I use the first person?"
> trepidaciously. This might not seem like a question of revolutionary
> practice, but I know my answer will reinforce or resist the above
> assumptions of learning listed by Lave...and I think she knows, too.
> xmca mailing list
xmca mailing list
xmca mailing list