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Re: [xmca] Re: microgenesis?

Apologies for the intrusion, but I had a quick point of clarification, for
the uninitiated, what is meant by "lytic"?
(all I could come up with pertained to "lysis" or the breaking down of
cells - which would seem to suggest a different sense of "development" - a
breaking down so that things can be reintegrated. Is that the idea?).

On Sat, Oct 13, 2012 at 9:15 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> I don't know where Americans being dolts comes into it, Mike. Some of my
> best friends are Americans. :) But let's move on from that.
> The point, as I see it, is trying to extract from what we can reaonsably
> understand Vygotsky to be  saying, something which we believe could be
> correct and significant. To do this I think we have to understand the
> concept of "development" always in a particular context. A truism for
> anyone here I think. What it means to me is that I cannot just ask: what
> transformations in psychological functioning constitutes "development"? The
> necessary, relevant context is what role in what cultural and historical
> community is the person to play, in the short term and in the longer term.
> So the question of what constitutes development is age-specific, culturally
> specific and future-oriented.
> (Of course, the world changes, and what was development yesterday may
> become oppressive and detestable tomorrow and vice versa, but let's
> abstract from cultural and historical change for the moment.)
> From the standpoint of natural science what I have posed is an absurdity
> and incompatible with basic tenets of science ... because I have made
> development dependent on events and relations in the future. In my opinion,
> that is just as it should be: kids go to school "for a purpose" - although
> what we mean by "purpose" in this context (the child's? the parents'? the
> state's? in retrospect? under advice? sponatneous?). But again, let's just
> put the problems arising from the idea of human actions being part of
> object-oriented activities to the side for the moment.
> So you ask: "what does the word DEVELOPMENT mean in the concept of a zone
> of proximal DEVELOPMENT?"
> I have to ask /which/ zone of proximal development, which crisis or lytic
> period are we talking about. Now I guess we can manage to give a general
> answer to the question: general questions require general answers. What
> "development" means is relative to which ZPD you are talking about. On the
> other hand, the presence of the ZPD itself depends on the development being
> posed. Achievment of a specific new mode of action with those around you,
> transforming your relations and your identity and your actions in the
> social situation depends on the expectations of those around you, according
> to broader cultural expectations and possibilities.
> A teacher or other "helper" interested in fostering development (if they
> can be presumed to reflect general, broader cultural expectations) has in
> mind what new functioning will be a necessary step towards the child
> becoming an autonomous citizen of the community.
> As Vygotsky insists, this poses for the child and her "helper" two
> different kinds of situation: either /lytical/ development or /critical/
> development. Lytical development is gradual and prepares the basis for
> developmental leap. To argue whether the gradual progress made in
> strengthening the relevant psychologhical functions in this phase is or is
> not development is in my opinion /just words/. Gradual accumulation of
> strength in those activities which the child is basically able to do, but
> maybe not very confidentally and well is a necessary preparation for
> transcending their age-role and entering into a phase of critical
> development in which they have a chance of successfully coming out the
> other side. It is by completion of the critical phase of development - the
> leap - which transforms the child's identity and role, that "/the
> development" is realised/. All the preparation in the world proves to be
> not development if it is not realised in facilitating the critical
> transformation.
> So, excuse me please for however imperfectly rehearsing egg-sucking for
> grandma's erudition.
> I personally regard it as a matter or "mere words" whether "child  X at
> last managing to recognise the difference between d and b today," for
> example, is described as a development. In the context of course it is; it
> is a step. You want to call that a "microgenetic development"? Personally I
> don't have a problem with that. David may, but paraphrasing Oscar Wilde:
> "Microgenesis is not one of my words."  But if the child at last managed to
> repeat the Gospel According to St Luke by rote, and you wanted to describe
> this as a microgenetic development, I would want to hear the developmental
> plan that made that claim coherent.
> Where if anywhere does this leave us?
> Andy
> My apologies for using so many words to say so little.
> Just trying to be clear and careful.
> mike cole wrote:
>> Hi Andy--
>> Well to begin with, thanks for keeping the discussion alive. I am away
>> from home without books or control of my time, so I want to ask a question
>> that may highlight what is central to my queries here.
>> If what you write is correct, what does the word DEVELOPMENT mean in the
>> concept of a zone of proximal DEVELOPMENT? Its all fine and dandy to point
>> out what dolts Americans are for not understanding that learning leads
>> DEVELOPMENT in classroom instruction, that but classroom lessons are
>> clusters of events that take place in microgenetic time WITHIN ontogenetic
>> lythic periods.
>> Where does that leave us?
>> mike
>> PS- the url below lays out in some detail where the idea of acquisition
>> of reading as a cultural-historical developmental process. Old and never
>> published. But at least we might refine what is indexed by the phrase
>> "learning to read."
>> http://lchc.ucsd.edu/People/**NEWTECHN.pdf<http://lchc.ucsd.edu/People/NEWTECHN.pdf>
>> On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 7:32 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:
>> ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>     So this thread does not die ...
>>     You said, Mike, "So I am seeing the same solution to thinking
>>     about the ontogeny/microgenesis relationships by analogy with the
>>     phylogeny/cultural-history relation."
>>     I don't see the analogy there. Phylogeny and ethnogeny are two
>>     (overlapping and mutually determining) processes with two very
>>     distinct material bases, viz., genes and artefacts. But learning
>>     to read/write and development of abstract thinking (and other
>>     leading activities in a developmental ZPD) is not such a relation,
>>     it is a relation between critical phases and lytic (gradual)
>>     phases of development. This is quite a different relationship.
>>     The analogy I would see for something which couold be called
>>     microgenesis would be the /situation/: a concept develops
>>     momentrily in a person and their actions in a situation. The
>>     situation is not a factor in phylo- or ethnogensis, it essentially
>>     belongs to the very short time scale, and its material basis is
>>     activity. I grant that no-one might use "microgenesis" in that way
>>     and no-one may be doing research into that process these days. I
>>     don't know. But the situation is a distinct material basis for
>>     development and one on which Vygotsky did a great deal of work. On
>>     the other hand, I think /all/ processes of development have both
>>     critical and lytical phases (c.f. Gould's punctuated evolution).
>>     What do you think?
>>     Andy
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Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Department of Anthropology
Brigham Young University
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