[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: Unity of cognition and affect

I want to add one further expansion to my commentary exploring the unity of
cognition and affect.
Working as a counselor in public schools I believe this month's article is
opening a central theme which is currently *concealed*.

A key Vygotskian concept that has wide currency in schools is *zone of
proximal development. I am attaching an article on early preschool
education, which develops 3 key concepts: social interaction; cultural
tools; and zone of proximal development.

[please delete the other attachment dated September 23 2013 - it was
accidentally selected]
On page 73 of the article Vygotsky is quoted: " We propose that an
essential feature of learning is that it creates the zone of proximal
development; that is, learning awakes a variety of internal developmental
processes that are able to operate ONLY when the child is interacting with
people in his environment and in cooperation with peers"

Now the grammatical term *the* ZPD carries a possible confusion that
conceals a tension. ZPD can be *read* to signal a *method* or a *tool* for
*learning*. This concept can be captured and turned into a tool for taking
knowledge which I the instructor *have* or are in *possession* of and
depositing this possession in your *hands* through the method of picking up
and using THE ZPD to give you the knowledge I *have*.

Brostrom, challenges the metaphor of THE zone as a tool and a method by
referencing Holzman's cautionary recommendation..
Bergstrom writes,
"Though the idea of ZPD has resulted in many forms of creative education,
there is also a risk of simplification and using the idea AS a mechanical
INSTRUMENT. (Holman 1997, p.60) Holman warns us this is NOT AT ALL A ZONE
BUT A LIFE SPACE, which human beings are INVOLVED IN, and THROUGH WHICH
higher mental functions arise and develop." [page 73]

We now have two radically distinct meanings of ZPD:
1] a *method* or an *instrument* which we can pick up and HAVE to use as a
utensils in order to dish out knowledge which we also have and possess.
This can remain within theory of learning as a transcendental/empirical
doublet as a particular model/genre of learning which incorporates *THE*
ZPD to its instrumental USE VALUES.
2] ZPD as a LIVING SPACE which is more INCLUSIVE than a concept of
instruments and preconceived methods USED to dish out  sediment2d, granular
*knowledge* using conceptual utensils.
Both meanings incorporate the metaphor of *zone* but within distinct genres
of learning. One is a possessive image while *living SPACE* incarnated a
radically different texture or tone within a space that becomes LIVED

Bergstrom also ventriloquates Cole & Griffin, Engstrom, and Stetsenko to
continue the caution to view ZPD as a simple method or cultural tool for
learning EXISTING knowledge.

I hope this expansion of the meaning and sense of ZPD fits within the
texture of Jennifer and Rebecca's article and section 2 where the
Vygotskian framework is developed.
Turning to notions of *a living SPACE as not at all *an* instrumental
possessive *zone* highlights the tensions within metaphors that conceal as
they reveal. Human beings are always existing and LIVING THROUGH
experiences WITHIN *living zones* and within these living spaces
[metaphorical not geographical] higher mental functions arise and develop
AS UNITIES of cognition and affect.
A return through analepsis/prolepsis to exploring social emotional learning
as existing in THE ZPD as possessive instrumental *methods* as a distinct
approach [disposition]or exploring social emotional learning
existing WITHIN LIVING ZONES of proximal development [as disposition]
Also a return to being *stuck* trying to *figure out* ways to open these
types of questioning within public schools as places of learning and
development in ways that generate living response?


On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 6:43 AM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:

> I am going to attempt to re-situate *experience* as key to understanding
> the unity cognitive and affective processes.
> However, I will stay closer to the way these themes are presented in
> Jennifer and Rebecca's article. I agree with Philip that this article has
> the potential to anticipate future directions for exploring and
> re-searching human nature.
> I chose to put section 2 [Returning to Vygotsky's framework] to one side
> to highlight section 1 which situated the article as asking "Where do we
> locate or place social emotional learning in school environments.
> I am now wondering if that opening may have shifted the conversation to a
> concrete example [SEL] and if Vygotsky's framework should have been the
> opening move? I believe the topic is central to understanding and
> developing schooled environments that show or express *concern* that I will
> try to engage others on the topic of section 2 - Vygotsky's framework.
> On page 205 Jennifer and Rebecca situation the framework by weaving
> together two subsections:
> 1] unity and analysis by units
> 2] consciousness AS a unity of intellect and affect.
> Vygotsky's framework embraces unity as grounding his central theoretical
> concepts in a dialectical relationship.
> Now, I want to draw out and highlight the concept of *experience* as also
> central to the notion of unity. I will add this word *experience* to the
> multiple phrases & sentences Jennifer and Rebecca wrote on p. 205 to make
> my point.
> " unified psychological functions in human relationships and experience"
> " the unity of social experience and cognitive experience and emotional
> experience"
> "the unity of speech experience and thinking experience"
> The use of the grammatical conjunctive *and* to highlight the processes
> linking experience AS unity. The central theme is that *experience* as
> unity cannot be distorted by cutting the *elements* of this unity. For
> example speech experience and thinking experience cannot be decomposed into
> separate granular elements without destroying the unity [analogy to water
> loosing its unity when researchers decompose and describe the elements
>  hydrogen and water through an analytical separation into granular
> fragments]
> Jennifer and Rebecca are calling our attention to experience as dynamic
> processes in contrast to analytic fossilized static frameworks which reify
> experience.
> Therefore experiences must retain the properties that are characteristic
> of the whole [including intellectual experience and affective
> experience]rather than experience being reduced to elements within
> dissected  fragmentary *discrete* notions of  experience as *intellectual
> experience* OR *affective experience*
> In this amplification of the concept/word *experience* I want to keep
> centrally in the foreground Dewey's questioning and regret at his using
> this concept *experience* as biased towards idealism and encapsulated
> subjectivity. Jennifer and Rebecca's article is operating within a
> different and distinct *zone* of proximal development. Zone can also be
> imagined as *horizon* or *space* or *place* as experiential *zones*.
> *Experience* within THIS Vygotskian *zone* is unified and experience does
> not exist within an interiorized *mind* ITSELF.
> In addition to experience retaining unified properties of the whole
> [gestalts?]  the units can be analyzed [with caution to not reify elements
> as static]  to explore the tensions of the elements within the unity. This
> tension which allow the units [notice the grammar of *the* units reifies]
> to change and transform.
> Jennifer and Rebecca write [p.206]
> to BE "a LIVING part of the whole" [reference to Zinchenko.]
> THIS changing unity [both parts and wholes are changing] can be researched
> by focusing on distinct *units of analysis" [which are not discrete units
> of analysis] This analytical dynamic process also is developing WITHIN
> *experience* which is always exceeding the horizon of any framework of
> conceptualization.
> Experience exists within temporality [analepsis & prolepsis] and
> historical *consciousness* but that is for another conversation.
> I hope my shifting to section 2 [frameworks and concepts such as *word
> meaning* and *perezhivanie*] will generate further commentary. Other
> frameworks are also exploring experience AS LIVING PROLEPSIS and ANALEPSIS
> [as gestalts] but they all share a common passion for unity and questioning
> where we locate social emotional learning.
> School environments is one *arena* or *stage* but the questions touch [as
> social experience, cognitive experience, emotional experience] all levels
> and realms of aesthesis as living experience.
> Jennifer and Rebecca are opening wider zones of proximal development and
> I'm enjoying the expansiveness of the *view* [privileging ocular perceiving]
> Larry
> On Sun, Sep 22, 2013 at 8:31 AM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
>> I have been waiting to hear further reflections on this months article.
>> I have noticed that as I am reading other articles I hear Jennifer's
>> voice calling me to listen for distinctions within unities and not reify
>> these fluid distinctions into discrete dichotomies.
>> I would like to offer further reflections on my musings.
>> Dewey wrote a book titled "Experience AND Nature* as conductive concepts.
>> I have read Vygotskian commentary suggesting *nature* does not capture
>> the centrality of tools and artifacts. Would the title "Experience AND
>> Artifacts" be a useful working title?
>> Other titles that came to mind were "Experience AND Mediation" or
>> "Experience AND Activity".
>> I am proposing that *experience* and the conjunctive concepts as
>> distinctions can be played with in our models of human nature.
>> I am also aware that Dewey re-considered [analepsis] the choice of the
>> concept *experience* in his model. However, with the exploration of the
>> unity of cognition AND feeling I wonder if *experience* can still be a
>> concept which we can *live through* as a meaningfully shared concept to
>> explore analytical distinctions WITHIN unities?
>> The concept *word meaning* was proposed as a central concept used by
>> Vygotsky which as an aspect of experience unifies cognition and affect
>> WITHIN experience as situated.
>> This insight is exploring the place of *concepts* within experience [as
>> situated].
>> Calvin Schrag has explored Merleau-Ponty's  theme of the centrality of
>> the *visual FIELD* and proposes that M-P's insights exploring the visual
>> field within experience can be extended to other *fields* such as the other
>> perceptual fields [touch hearing, taste] AND conceptual fields, and
>> valuational fields.
>> The key insight M-P offers is that these multiple fields [perceptual,
>> conceptual, valuational] WITHIN experience are neither "outer worlds* of
>> re-presented or re-constituted objective properties and relations on the
>> one hand, nor are these multiple fields [perceptual, conceptual,
>> valuational]  an "abstracted inner world" as transcendentally accessed.
>> The experiential world [as situated] M-P describes as a *lived-through
>> world*.
>>  Consciousness, [the theme Vygotsky was turning towards before his early
>> death], is NEVER ENCLOSED WITHIN ITSELF. It is from the beginning lodged
>> within the world as an intentional unity with figures [and con-figurations]
>> positioned or located against backgrounds [Gestalts]. Gestalt has also been
>> proposed on this xmca site as where Vygotsky was turning.
>> Schrag suggests M-P privileged the *visual field* but his key insight can
>> be expanded beyond the visual to multiple fields. Schrag suggests the
>> visual field is not *truer* or displays a *richer* structure than do the
>> other multiple fields. The visual field of sight does have the advantage of
>> providing more direct conditions for objectification. I would add that the
>> conceptual field also has this distinct benefit of distanciation of figure
>> and ground. Schrag points out that this benefit however, by virtue of the
>> distant and disembodied potential of the visual sense [I would add
>> conceptual field as sense] is prone to become separated from the concrete
>> *experiencer* and the dynamic fields [as Gestalts]
>> Schrag highlights a word [aisthesis] which points to the phenomena which
>> MEDIATES all the senses. THIS full bodied is most overtly displayed and
>> manifested particularly WITHIN the perceptual field of touch AS tactile
>> sensation.
>> This is Schrag's key point [and may also be put in conjunction with the
>> unity of cognition and affect].
>> Full-bodied aisthesis CONTINUES TO BE OPERATIVE in the visual [and
>> conceptual] fields, and by virtue of aisthesis retains a unity WITHIN
>> experience.
>> This insight not does mean an inversion of visual and conceptual fields
>> to the nonvisual tactile or auditory fields. Touch and hearing are neither
>> truer or richer in structure than sight or concepts. No sense should be
>> elevated above the others. Sight and concepts without the full bodied
>> aisthesis of the other senses divests *experience* of its vibrancy, as the
>> other senses without the visual and conceptual which provide distance tend
>> to enslave experience within immediacy.
>> Schrag and the current article are emphasizing unity and the
>> multidimensional texture of experience as cognition AND affect. As Schrag
>> writes,
>> "The multidimensional texture of experience is displayed not only in the
>> plurality of perceptual fields, but also in the variegated deployment of
>> conceptual and valuational fields. Conceiving and valuing, as assuredly as
>> perceiving, occur WITHIN a figure-ground context. Experience is always
>> broader in its reach than perceptual fields."
>> M-P's privileging the visual sense is not his central insight. His
>> central insight is that the multiple fields of sense DISPLAYS a
>> figure-ground relation AND an intentional structure REVEALING its intended
>> figures at EVERY level of experience.
>> Jennifer, I enjoyed crisscrossing your insights and extensions of the
>> unity of cognition AND affect with Schrag's descriptions within a
>> phenomenology of experience.
>> I apologize if this is going off topic but your article is *in my mind*
>> as I am  reading Schrag's  theme of unity of the senses.
>>  Larry

Description: Adobe PDF document

Attachment: SEPTEMBER 25 2013 BROSTROM STIG Reading of Literature and Reflection by Means of Aesthetical Activities.pdf
Description: Adobe PDF document