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

There's so much here to pick up on, tease out, talk through, Larry.

I've attached here another piece on zpd by Scrimsher and Tudge that I really appreciate, in part because it touches on what you highlight below, and also because it reminds us of what students bring to the relationship. I'm oversimplifying your ideas below, apologies for that, when I say that I think you are getting at the difference between seeing zpd as a teaching technique or skill and seeing it as a relationship. Even more than a relationship: a certain quality of a relationship between child and adult, student and teacher.

This is something central to where I am stuck I think, is it as simple as saying the difference between a behavoural approach to teaching versus a Vygotskian approach, I'm not sure. Seeing zpd as teaching technique or skill might mean that it can be used by anyone and "done to" any child, it seems distanced from the people involved. Thinking about zpd as a relationship, this seems to mean that the people matter, are at the center, that perhaps for this specific child or this specific teacher no other person can engage them in quite this way. In all of my work with young people in alternative learning contexts, relationships are what matter most ... and not relationships with anyone and everyone, but relationships with one or two key people that then begin a process of enabling the young person to join in a new context or participate in a context in new ways.

What is the quality at the center of these relationships? Is it about people "liking" each other? Appreciating each other? caring for each other? Is it about seeing children differently, as endlessly fascinating, as dynamic, changing, ultimately capable? Or having a disposition, as you note, toward engaging in a certain way, in a way of "living together with," rather than an instrumental way of "doing to"?

What kind of relationship enables a zpd between people around a specific task?

Bes to all - jen

On 2013-09-25, at 6:03 AM, Larry Purss wrote:

> 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?
> Stuck
> Larry
> 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
> <SEPTEMBER 23 2013 STRAUS ERWIN PSYCHOLOGY OF THE HUMAN       WORLD.pdf><SEPTEMBER 25 2013 BROSTROM STIG Reading of Literature and    Reflection by Means of Aesthetical Activities.pdf>

Attachment: 19 Scrimsher & Tudge (2003).pdf
Description: 19 Scrimsher & Tudge (2003).pdf