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Re: [xmca] Re: microgenesis?

Hi Andy-- Maybe I am off on a totally mistaken path here. It would not be
the first time. But in raising the examples I have, I have been seeking to
clarify a question, i think initiated by greg about microgenesis.

Here is the question I have been trying to get clear about.

Is there such a process, in a Vygotskian framework, as micro-genesis that
involves development? Or is all microgenetic change "learning." (As in the
learning/development distinction).

So each time an answer comes back that moves the genetic domain from
microgenesis to ontogenesis from *my* perspective, its a change of topic,
not an answer.

David pointed us to Vygotsky/Koffka on maturation (development? ravitie?)
and learning (obuchenie), which introduces its own ambiguities?

I want to print out the materials that David posted to read more carefully
and am hoping we can either dismiss my question as a misunderstanding of
what the conversation was about or hone in enough on the topic so that we
all feel like we are talking about the same thing. Right now I am pretty
sure we are not.


On Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 6:25 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> No, I don't believe Vygotsky is speaking of microgenesis, Mike.
> My PS was responding to David saying:
>    "It’s that moment when learning-and-teaching leads development, or
>    opens the next stage of development (as Koffka says, a pfennigsworth
>    of learning and teaching yields a mark of development) that I always
>    thought was called microgenesis."
> Andy
> Mike Cole wrote:
>> Is he speaking of micro genesis, Andy?
>> Mike
>> On Oct 3, 2012, at 5:59 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>> Mike, reading Chapter 6 of "Thinking and Speech" about written speech,
>>> it seems to me that Vygotsky takes the development of written speech as
>>> archetypical and a pre-requiresite for the development of true concepts
>>> in modern society. He actually says that in taking up instruction in
>>> grammar (which is always associated with the learning of written speech)
>>> he is deferring the formation of scientific concepts to "susbsequent
>>> sections"!!
>>> As is well-known, he points to at least three characteristics of written
>>> speech which are significant: that it requires conscious awareness of
>>> the semantic, syntactic and phonetic properties of both inner and oral
>>> speech; it requires an abstraction from the speech-situation and in
>>> particular the interlocutor; finally, it requires a motivation which is
>>> entirely absent for the child when they begin to learn written speech.
>>> Each qualitative leap, each /development/ in the psychological growth of
>>> a child is marked by a crisis and sharp change in the will, the
>>> development of new motivations and therewith new relationships, new
>>> "situations". The motivation is no longer provided by the situation, an
>>> answer is required when there is no question. Thus the achievement of
>>> written speech requires conscious control of the will in abstraction
>>> from the situation, and reflecting upon and controlling inner speech.
>>> The formulation of actions, thinking, in the absence of the actual,
>>> sensuous presence of the stimulus, is one of the most central
>>> characteristic of conceptual thought. This is a development that is
>>> required even in non-literate communities. But in modern societies, the
>>> psychic functions required for conceptual, i.e., culturally inherited
>>> means of action, are acquired through formal schooling and as I see it
>>> the means of doing so is the mastery of written speech.
>>> Back on the 29 September, you asked:
>>>    "Since qualitative change in the organization of sensory-motor
>>>    behavior appear off the table when discussing HIGHER psych
>>>    functions, might you turn your scalpels to the acquisition of the
>>>    ability to read a phonetic alphabet fluently? How am I going wrong
>>>    in believing that acquisition of reading is a developmental process
>>>    in which learning also plays an essential role that shifts in the
>>>    course off acquisition?"
>>> It is really nothing to with sensory-motor behavior, even though
>>> sensory-motor behavior is the only means by which written speech can be
>>> manifested. But if a child has normal vision and normal control of their
>>> hands, and these functions are sufficiently developed to recognise the
>>> letters of the alphabet, then teaching the child to read and write them
>>> is a good move. But it is not development itself. What is development is
>>> acquisition of those functions Vygotsky talks about: abstraction from
>>> the semantic, syntactic and phonetic properties of oral speech;
>>> abstraction from interlocutor and the speech situation; and the
>>> development of motivations to write. None of the actions implied in this
>>> psychological development are possible unless the child has /some/ means
>>> of written speech. Learning the ABCs simply creates the possibility for
>>> the leap of mastering one's own thinking by the culturally-specific
>>> means of written speech with a phonetic alphabet.
>>> That's how I read it.
>>> Andy
>>> PS. David. "Microgenesis" is not really part of my vocabulary, but I
>>> think it is not warranted to apply the term to the critical phases of
>>> ontogenesis. These are after all ontogenesis. I have always taken
>>> "microgenesis" to refer to the processes whereby a given psychological
>>> condition, or process, or action, is manifested out of its conditions,
>>> ie., something which happens every second. E.g. if I have a problem and
>>> then I hit on the solution; or if I meet someone, and in a second or two
>>> recognize them and adopt an orientation to them; or I want to speak in a
>>> meeting, stand up and then speak. That is the context in which I say
>>> concepts /are/ themselves processes of development (and not just the
>>> product of development).
>>> mike cole wrote:
>>>> Thanks David.
>>>> So there is microgenetic DEVELOPMENT of reading, or is LSV talking about
>>>> the ontogenetic change that comes from mediation of activity through
>>>> literacy?
>>>> mike
>>>> On Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 7:56 PM, kellogg <kellogg59@hanmail.net> wrote:
>>>>>   First of all, here's Vygotsky attacking Meumann and Piaget for the
>>>>> view that learning to read and write is really just learning, and not a
>>>>> fundamental restructuring of the child's understanding. It's from
>>>>> Thinking
>>>>> and Speech, Chapter Six, Part Three. But unfortunately neither English
>>>>> translation is really adequate. So here is the Russian:
>>>>> Обучение как бы пожинает плоды детского созревания, но само по себе
>>>>> обучение остается безразличным для развития. У ребенка память,
>>>>> внимание и
>>>>> мышление развились до такого уровня, что он может обучаться грамоте и
>>>>> арифметике; но если мы его обучим грамоте и арифметике, то его память,
>>>>> внимание и мышление изменятся или нет? Старая психология отвечала на
>>>>> этот
>>>>> вопрос так: изменятся в той мере, в какой мы будем их упражнять, т.е.
>>>>> они
>>>>> изменятся в результате упражнения, но ничего не изменится в ходе их
>>>>> развития. Ничего нового не возникнет в умственном развитии ребенка от
>>>>> того,
>>>>> что мы его обучим грамоте. Это будет тот же самый ребенок, но
>>>>> грамотный.
>>>>> Эта точка зрения, целиком определяющая всю старую педагогическую
>>>>> психологию, в том числе и известную работу Меймана, доведена до
>>>>> логического
>>>>> предела в теории Пиаже. Его точка зрения такова, что мышление ребенка с
>>>>> необходимостью проходит через известные фазы и стадии, независимо от
>>>>> того,
>>>>> обучается этот ребенок или нет. Если он обучается, то это есть чисто
>>>>> внешний факт, который еще не находится в единстве с его собственными
>>>>> процессами мышления. Поэтому педагогика должна считаться с этими
>>>>> автономными особенностями детского мышления как с низшим порогом,
>>>>> определяющим возможности обучения. Когда же у ребенка разовьются другие
>>>>> возможности мышления, тогда станет возможным и другое обучение. Для
>>>>> Пиаже
>>>>> показателем уровня детского мышления является не то, что ребенок
>>>>> знает, не
>>>>> то, что он способен усвоить, а то, как он мыслит в той области, где он
>>>>> никакого знания не имеет. Здесь самым резким образом
>>>>> противопоставляются
>>>>> обучение и развитие, знание и мышление. Исходя из этог Пиаже задает
>>>>> ребенку
>>>>> такие вопросы, в отношении которых он застрахован от того, о,что
>>>>> ребенок
>>>>> может иметь какие-нибудь знания о спрашиваемом предмете. А если мы
>>>>> спрашиваем ребенка о таких вещах, о которых у него могут быть знания,
>>>>> то
>>>>> здесь мы получаем не результаты мышления, а результаты знания. Поэтому
>>>>> спонтанные понятия, возникающие в процессе развития ребенка,
>>>>> рассматриваются как показательные для его мышления, а научные понятия,
>>>>> возникающие из обучения, не обладают этой показательностью. Поэтому
>>>>> же, раз
>>>>> обучение и развитие резко противопоставляются друг другу, мы приходим с
>>>>> необходимостью к основному положению Пиаже, согласно которому научные
>>>>> понятия скорее вытесняют спонтанные и занимают их место, чем возникают
>>>>> из
>>>>> них, преобразуя их.
>>>>> "Teaching-and-learning reaps the benefits of the children's maturation,
>>>>> but is in itself of no interest to development. If we teach literacy
>>>>> and
>>>>> numeracy when the child's memory, attention and thinking have evolved
>>>>> to
>>>>> such a level that it can be taught, will his memory, attention and
>>>>> thinking
>>>>> change or no? The old psychology responded to this question thus: it
>>>>> will
>>>>> change to the extent that we exercise them, i.e. it will change as a
>>>>> result
>>>>> of exercise, but nothing will change in the course of their
>>>>> development.
>>>>> There is nothing new here in the mental development of the child from
>>>>> what
>>>>> we taught him to read. It will be the same child, but competent. This
>>>>> view is entirely fixed by the whole of the old educational psychology,
>>>>> including the well-known work of Meumann, and brought to its logical
>>>>> limit
>>>>> in Piaget's theory. His point of view is that the child's thinking must
>>>>> needs to pass through certain phases and stages, regardless of whether
>>>>> the
>>>>> child undergoes teaching-and-learning or not. If he undergoes it, this
>>>>> is
>>>>> a purely external fact, which is not yet in any communion with his own
>>>>> thinking processes. Pedagogy should therefore be considered alongside
>>>>> the
>>>>> autonomous features of children's thinking, as a lower threshold
>>>>> determining teaching-and-learning. When a child develops, other ways of
>>>>> thinking and other forms of teaching-and-learning will then be
>>>>> possible. For
>>>>> Piaget, the indicator of the child's thinking is not what the child
>>>>> knows,
>>>>> not what he is able to learn, but the way he thinks in an area where
>>>>> he has
>>>>> no knowledge. Here lies the very sharpest contrast between
>>>>> teaching-and-learning and development, between knowledge and thinking.
>>>>> It
>>>>> is on this basis that Piaget sets the child questions with respect to
>>>>> which
>>>>> he may be assured that the child can have no knowledge whatever. For if
>>>>> we ask the child about things about which he may have knowledge, here
>>>>> we do
>>>>> not get the results of thinking, but the results of knowledge.
>>>>> Therefore,
>>>>> spontaneous notions arising in the development of the child shall be
>>>>> considered as indicative of his thinking, and scientific concepts that
>>>>> arise from learning-and-teaching, do not have this potential. For the
>>>>> same reason, once learning-and-teaching and development are sharply
>>>>> counterposed to each other, we necessarily arrive at the main point of
>>>>> Piaget, according to which scientific concepts rather displace
>>>>> spontaneous
>>>>> and take their place rather than derive from them, transforming them."
>>>>> Later on, Vygotsky dwells at some length on his disagreements with
>>>>> Koffka.
>>>>> It will be seen that the passage which Vygotsky is lingering over is
>>>>> precisely the one that Mike sent around:
>>>>> Есть, наконец, третья группа теорий, которая особенно влиятельна в
>>>>> европейской детской психологии. Эти теории пытаются подняться над
>>>>> крайностями обеих точек зрения, которые изложены выше. Они пытаются
>>>>> проплыть между Сциллой и Харибдой. При этом случается то, что обычно
>>>>> происходит с теориями, занимающими среднее место между двумя крайними
>>>>> точками зрения. Они становятся не над обеими теориями, а между ними,
>>>>> преодолевая одну крайность ровно в такой мере, в какой они попадают в
>>>>> другую. Одну неправильную теорию они преодолевают, частично уступая
>>>>> другой,
>>>>> а другую . уступками первой. В сущности говоря, это . двойственные
>>>>> теории:
>>>>> занимая позицию между двумя противоположными точками зрения, они на
>>>>> самом
>>>>> деле приводят к некоторому объединению этих точек зрения.
>>>>> Такова точка зрения Коффки, который заявляет с самого начала, что
>>>>> развитие
>>>>> всегда имеет двойственный характер: во-первых, надо различать развитие
>>>>> как
>>>>> созревание и, во-вторых, надо различать развитие как обучение. Но это и
>>>>> значит признать в сущности две прежние крайние точки зрения, одну
>>>>> вслед за
>>>>> другой, или объединить их. Первая точка зрения говорит, что процессы
>>>>> развития и обучения независимы друг от друга. Ее Коффка повторяет,
>>>>> утверждая, что развитие и есть созревание, не зависящее в своих
>>>>> внутренних
>>>>> законах от обучения. Вторая точка зрения говорит, что обучение есть
>>>>> развитие. Эту точку зрения Коффка повторяет буквально.
>>>>> "There is, finally, a third group of theories, which is particularly
>>>>> influential in European child psychology. These theories attempt to
>>>>> rise
>>>>> above the extremes of both points of view, as set out above. They are
>>>>> trying to sail between Scylla and Charybdis. In this case, what
>>>>> happens is
>>>>> the usual case with theories that occupy the middle ground between two
>>>>> extremes. They do not stand above the two theories but between them
>>>>> overcoming one extreme exactly to the extent to which they veer
>>>>> towards the
>>>>> other. They overcome one wrong theory by partially surrendering to
>>>>> another.
>>>>> Generally speaking, it is a dualistic theory: occupying a position
>>>>> between
>>>>> two opposing points of view, they actually result from some
>>>>> combination of
>>>>> the two points of view."
>>>>> "This is the view Koffka, who states at the outset that the
>>>>> development is
>>>>> always dualistic: First, we must distinguish development as maturation
>>>>> and
>>>>> second we must distinguish development as learning-and-teaching. But
>>>>> this
>>>>> means to recognize in essence the two previous extreme positions one
>>>>> after
>>>>> the other, or combine them. The first point of view is that the
>>>>> processes
>>>>> of development and learning-and-teaching are independent of each other.
>>>>> Here Koffka repeats the argument that development and maturation are
>>>>> not
>>>>> dependent in their internal laws upon learning-and-teaching. The second
>>>>> point of view is that learning is development. This view too Koffka
>>>>> repeats
>>>>> word for word."
>>>>> Vygotsky goes on to discuss three positive elements in Koffka's work:
>>>>> First, Koffka recognizes that there are two different things and they
>>>>> exist
>>>>> in a state of mutual dependence. Second, Koffka must introduce a new
>>>>> conception of learning-and-teaching, namely the appearance of new
>>>>> structures and the completion of old ones. Thirdly, Koffka raises,
>>>>> although
>>>>> he cannot solve, the whole question of whether learning-and-teaching
>>>>> leads
>>>>> development or the other way around. It's that moment when
>>>>> learning-and-teaching leads development, or opens the next stage of
>>>>> development (as Koffka says, a pfennigsworth of learning and teaching
>>>>> yields a mark of development) that I always thought was called
>>>>> microgenesis.
>>>>> In developing that second point, on the new STRUCTURAL conception of
>>>>> learning-and-teaching that Vygotsky distinguishes between
>>>>> learning-and-teaching that offers only the skill that it offers and a
>>>>> transformative skill--and the example he gives of the former is
>>>>> learning to
>>>>> type. What about the latter, though? It seems to me he has already
>>>>> given us
>>>>> an example of the latter at the very outset of this discussion when he
>>>>> was
>>>>> raking Meumann and Piaget over the coals. It is when a child learns
>>>>> that he
>>>>> or she can draw speech.
>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
>>>>> --------- 원본 메일 ---------
>>>>> *보낸사람*: mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>
>>>>> *받는사람* : "eXtended Mind, Culture,Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>,
>>>>> kellogg
>>>>> <kellogg59@hanmail.net>
>>>>> *날짜*: 2012년 10월 03일 수요일, 08시 43분 37초 +0900
>>>>> *제목*: microgenesis?
>>>>> Hi David- This message was begun several days ago but got hung up in my
>>>>> messy schedule and a delay while I got to Koffka.
>>>>> I would like very much to continue the microgeneis discussion started
>>>>> by
>>>>> Greg (or was it you?) because it seems to me to get us to the heart of
>>>>> the
>>>>> learning/development issue. We made a lot of progress a few years ago
>>>>> when
>>>>> you and Andy and I tried to write down "our" theory of development,
>>>>> with
>>>>> LSV as the paternal text.
>>>>> While I have been off doing my form of inquiry, you have been doing
>>>>> yours  including all of the intense work on Tool and Znak, and
>>>>> immersing
>>>>> yourself in the texts.
>>>>> I have  have a copy of Koffka at home, so I read a bunch of places
>>>>> where
>>>>> the learning/development issue is brought up.
>>>>> Rather than jump straight into conversation, I would like to provide
>>>>> other xmca'ites as wish, to read the texts being discussed.
>>>>> To that end, I have attached a few pages from Koffka that seem
>>>>> particularly to the point. As I understand it, this approach, which
>>>>> attributes cultural influences on development only for forms of action
>>>>> that
>>>>> are species typical/universal and closely related to (acquiring a first
>>>>> language, acquiring the ability to walk and run and jump and duck, and
>>>>> so
>>>>> on).
>>>>> So the answer to questions about development being involved in learning
>>>>> to ride a bike or acquing the ability to read a phonetic alphabet. The
>>>>> matter is forclosed. Reading is a process of learning, ipso facto, end
>>>>> of
>>>>> discussion.
>>>>> You indicate in your note that LSV also had some disagreements with
>>>>> Koffka, but I was not clear on what they were. If you could elaborate
>>>>> in
>>>>> context I would find it helpful.
>>>>> So, moving slowly, and doggedly sticking to the topic of microgenesis
>>>>> of
>>>>> functions including acquiring the ability to walk, to ride a bike, and
>>>>> to
>>>>> learn to read, and lets include acquire a language, since that is
>>>>> clearly a
>>>>> central topic, I attach the relevant pages from Koffka so others can
>>>>> see
>>>>> what we are nattering on about, and at least figure out what is at
>>>>> stake.
>>>>> If you would indicate other parts of Koffka to read, David, if you
>>>>> think
>>>>> them relevant, I can make the pdf and distribute.
>>>>> more to come.
>>>>> mike
>>>>> PS-- ALL-- Note David's new email. I am probably not the only one who
>>>>> missed the transition to it.
>>>>> <kellogg59@hanmail.net>
>>>>> ------------------------------**------------------------------**
>>>>> ------------
>>>>> ______________________________**____________
>>>>> _____
>>>>> xmca mailing list
>>>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/**listinfo/xmca<http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca>
>>>> --
>>> ------------------------------**------------------------------**
>>> ------------
>>> *Andy Blunden*
>>> Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>>> Book: http://www.brill.nl/concepts
>>> ______________________________**____________
>>> _____
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> --
> ------------------------------**------------------------------**
> ------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
> Book: http://www.brill.nl/concepts
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