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[Xmca-l] Re: Trying to Close a Knowledge Gap, Word by Word



Thanks Peter-- Hopefully someone's library still has access to T&F. UCSD
dropped their outrageous package and opted for selected journals so I do
not have access. There is a pdf around somewhere, I'm guessing
mike


On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 12:03 PM, Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu> wrote:

> I don't have downloading rights, but Mike and Sylvia's article is listed
> at
> http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00988157.1974.9977101#.UzR1_fldXTo
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of mike cole
> Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2014 2:58 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Cc: PIG
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Trying to Close a Knowledge Gap, Word by Word
>
> There are several important (to me) issues being raised in this "thread"
> (more like a rope!).
>
> One is the view of Basil Bernstein as interpreted in the 1960's and as
> interpreted in the present circumstances, which include several decades of
> work by Hasan, Daniels, and others, to absolve Bernstein of the sin of
> proposing a deep seated psychological deficit as a result of a
> language/culture deficit. Somewhere there is a review of Class & Codes that
> Sylvia Scribner and I wrote dating back into the early-mid 1970's. I will
> try to retrieve it. If anyone has access to it from earlier discussions of
> this topic, please post. I cannot find it.
>
> The second is the Orwellian aspect of the research. I take 1984 to be the
> null hypothesis that we keep struggling to show is NOT the case, however
> close we might come to being in that situation. Thank Polysemy and the
> necessary creativity of language for the fact that Newspeak is not a
> possible human language. This problem is ubiquitous (as microsoft and
> google read this message should they care to).
>
> The third problem is an updated version of the anti-poverty programs of
> the '60's and 70's that sent social workers into the homes of poor people
> with books and toys and tried to teach them how to interact like middle
> class mothers with their children. The cultural imperialism/classism of
> that effort was obvious and painful -- but also unsuccessful -- so it was
> given up. And the poor&marginalized remained so.
>
> The culture of poverty has returned, this time with a biological rationale
> that makes it seem all the more urgent to provide more intense
> interventions early, With new digital technologies, it appears from scant
> reports I have read, that the data collected are word counts in
> conversation that distinguish speakers, can distinguish tv signal from
> spoken language, can distinguish turn taking dialogue. These data are not
> only easily collectable by the researchers, but easily provided as rapid
> feedback to caretakers.
>
> Note in the brief recent commentary I sent around the work of Bill Hall
> from the mid-1970's where he had kiddies wearing vests that broadcast to a
> researcher who then counted a lot of words. Old fashioned, but the findings
> were not.
>
> Its pretty scarey to see this trend suffusing the lives of children and
> their families. Plus the Mathew effect...... and,. its time for lunch.
>
> mike
>
>
> On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 8:13 AM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com
> >wrote:
>
> > On 27 March 2014 13:02, Ana Marjanovic-Shane <anamshane@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > > Dear all,
> > >
> > > From Yesterday's New York Times: new ways to implement the
> > > Bernstein's based (language +) deficit based educational approach to
> > > minority, low income and immigrant families. Is it educational, or
> > > Orwellian?  What do you think?
> > >
> >
> >
> > > Ana
> > >
> > >
> > It depends on all those epiphenomenal things that aren't mentioned in
> > the article. ;)
> >
> > Its a bit funny that there's a discussion page on the NYTimes site,
> > but that its more interesting to discuss it here.  Where'd that start?
> > :)
> >
> > Best,
> > Huw
> >
> >
> >
> > >
> > >
> > http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/26/us/trying-to-close-a-knowledge-gap-w
> > ord-by-word.html?emc=eta1&_r=0
> > >
> > > Trying to Close a Knowledge Gap, Word by Word
> > >
> > > By MOTOKO RICHMARCH 25, 2014
> > >
> > > PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Amid a political push for government-funded
> > > preschool for 4-year-olds, a growing number of experts fear that
> > > such programs actually start too late for the children most at risk.
> > > That is why Deisy Ixcuna-González, the 16-month-old daughter of
> > > Guatemalan immigrants, is wearing a tiny recorder that captures
> > > every word she hears and utters inside her family's cramped apartment
> one day a week.
> > >
> > > Recent research shows that brain development is buoyed by continuous
> > > interaction with parents and caregivers from birth, and that even
> > > before age 2, the children of the wealthy know more words than do
> > > those of the poor. So the recorder acts as a tool for instructing
> > > Deisy's parents on
> > how
> > > to turn even a visit to the kitchen into a language lesson. It is
> > > part of an ambitious campaign, known as Providence Talks, that is
> > > aimed at the city's poorest residents and intended to reduce the
> > > knowledge gap long before school starts. It is among a number of
> > > such efforts being
> > undertaken
> > > throughout the country.
> > >
> > > Photo
> > >
> > > María González, left, a participant in Providence Talks, with images
> > > of emotions that are intended to encourage dialogue with her
> > > 16-month-old daughter. Credit Katherine Taylor for The New York
> > > Times "When she grabs your hand and brings you to the refrigerator
> > > and points
> > to
> > > the cabinet, that is an opportunity for you to say, 'Deisy, are you
> > hungry?
> > > You want cereal? Let's go look for the cereal,' " Stephanie Taveras,
> > > a Providence Talks home visitor who also works with Early Head
> > > Start, told Deisy's mother in Spanish. "You do the responding for
> > > her now until she
> > has
> > > the vocabulary, and she will be hearing you."
> > >
> > > Educators say that many parents, especially among the poor and
> > immigrants,
> > > do not know that talking, as well as reading, singing and playing
> > > with their young children, is important. "I've had young moms say,
> > > 'I didn't know I was supposed to talk to my baby until they could
> > > say words and
> > talk
> > > to me,' " said Susan Landry, director of the Children's Learning
> > Institute
> > > at the University of Texas in Houston, which has developed a home
> > visiting
> > > program similar to the one here in Providence.
> > >
> > > Close to a quarter of all American children now live in poverty.
> > > More
> > than
> > > half of all children age 2 and under are cared for during the day by
> > > a parent or relative, according to a McCormick Foundation analysis
> > > of
> > census
> > > data.
> > >
> > > To reach those children, educators say they need to focus their
> > > efforts
> > on
> > > the home.
> > >
> > > "In the same way that we say you should feed your child, brush their
> > > teeth, you should be stimulating their brain by talking, singing and
> > > reading to them," said Ann O'Leary, the director of Too Small to
> > > Fail, an initiative aimed at closing the word gap across the
> > > country. "We want to move the needle from this being an optional
> > > activity to a must-do
> > activity."
> > >
> > > Too Small to Fail, a joint effort of the nonprofit Next Generation
> > > and
> > the
> > > Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, chose Latino children as
> > > its initial focus because more of them live in poverty than do
> > > children of
> > any
> > > other racial or ethnic group. They are also more likely to be cared
> > > for
> > at
> > > home by a relative during the day than are either white or
> > African-American
> > > children. Hillary Rodham Clinton is the co-founder of Too Small to
> > > Fail, which has raised $10 million so far.
> > >
> > > Photo
> > >
> > > The Lena recording device can be inserted into a vest worn by the
> child.
> > > Credit Katherine Taylor for The New York Times Last month, Too Small
> > > To Fail started an advertising campaign in conjunction with
> > > Univision, the Spanish-language television network, featuring
> > > Bárbara Bermudo, the host of a popular afternoon program. In
> > one
> > > ad, Ms. Bermudo appears with her young daughters in a pink-infused
> > > playroom, baking in the kitchen and then reading them a book.
> > >
> > > "Taking fifteen minutes a day to communicate with them while you're
> > > preparing dinner or reading to them at bedtime are the most valuable
> > > minutes for developing their vocabulary skills and creating a strong
> > > foundation for their academic success," Ms. Bermudo tells viewers.
> > >
> > > Ms. O'Leary said Too Small to Fail would experiment with a variety
> > > of media messages in different cities. Starting later this spring,
> > > slogans like "Words bring your child's mind to life," "Talking is
> > > teaching" and "Feed me words" will appear on billboards, grocery
> > > carts and buses in low-income neighborhoods in Tulsa, Okla. The
> > > goal, Ms. O'Leary said, is
> > to
> > > emulate the success of other public information campaigns such as
> > > those intended to reduce crib deaths by persuading parents to put
> > > their babies
> > to
> > > sleep on their backs.
> > >
> > > As in Providence, several groups around the country -- some of
> > longstanding
> > > tenure -- are building home visiting programs and workshops to help
> > parents
> > > learn not only that they should talk, but how to do so.
> > >
> > > "Every parent can talk," said Dr. Dana Suskind, a pediatric surgeon
> > > at
> > the
> > > University of Chicago who founded the Thirty Million Words
> > > Initiative, which oversees home visiting programs and public
> information campaigns.
> > >
> > > "It's the most empowering thing," said Dr. Suskind, who is securing
> > > funding for a randomized trial of a home-based curriculum intended
> > > to
> > teach
> > > parents how they should talk with their children and why.
> > >
> > > Photo
> > >
> > > Deisy's mother, María González, spoke with with Stephanie Taveras, a
> > > Providence Talks home visitor. Credit Katherine Taylor for The New
> > > York Times Advocates for the poor say that improving the long-term
> > > academic
> > prospects
> > > of disadvantaged children, much less their chance of escaping
> > > poverty,
> > is a
> > > much more complicated proposition than some of these programs might
> > suggest.
> > >
> > > "When Hillary Clinton runs around trying to close the word gap, it's
> > > like fine, vocabulary is good," said Bruce Fuller, a professor of
> > > education
> > and
> > > public policy at the University of California, Berkeley. "But there
> > > is a deeper commitment to literacy and conversation around the
> > > dinner table
> > and
> > > talking to kids about ideas and political controversies that is the
> > > more colorful fabric of literacy and conversation."
> > >
> > > Here in Providence, where more than 85 percent of public school
> > > students are eligible for federally subsidized lunches and
> > > two-thirds of public school kindergartners are behind in recognizing
> > > basic language sounds or identifying letters in print, officials see
> > > Providence Talks as just one part of a larger educational strategy.
> > > It is being funded by a $5 million grant from Bloomberg
> > > Philanthropies, and officials hope that they can eventually secure
> some public funding.
> > >
> > > "The more effective we can show that it is, the higher the
> > > possibility that you can get government funding for it," said Angel
> > > Taveras, Providence's first Latino mayor and a graduate of Head Start.
> > >
> > > Continue reading the main story
> > > Recent Comments
> > >
> > > ecolecon
> > >
> > > 17 hours ago
> > > "So the recorder acts as a tool for instructing Deisy's parents on
> > > how to turn even a visit to the kitchen into a language lesson."This...
> > >
> > > Ecojustice James
> > >
> > > 17 hours ago
> > > Technology is helpful, so too having literacy materials around, and
> > > understanding about their value can come through mentoring and
> sharing...
> > >
> > > manoflamancha
> > >
> > > 17 hours ago
> > > Poverty is not the problem, rather poor parents. To increase kids
> > learning
> > > curve....you have to motivate Americans parents to learn how to...
> > >
> > > See All Comments
> > > On a chilly afternoon this month, Ms. Taveras (who is not related to
> > > the
> > > mayor) sat down with Deisy's parents. María González, who has a
> > third-grade
> > > education and spoke her native K'iche' when she emigrated from
> > > Guatemala seven years ago, reviewed a bar chart that showed how many
> > > words she and her husband, Rafael Ixcuna, who packs fruit at a
> > > factory in the city, had spoken to Deisy on a day the previous week.
> > >
> > > To help give parents feedback and provide data for researchers, the
> > > home visitors give each family -- all of whom volunteered to
> > > participate -- a
> > tiny
> > > recording device, known as a Lena, that can be inserted into a vest
> > > worn
> > by
> > > the child. The recorders distinguish between words overheard from
> > > television or other electronics and live human conversations.
> > > Computer software then analyzes the numbers of words spoken.
> > >
> > > Photo
> > >
> > > Angel Taveras, the mayor of Providence, where most public school
> > > kindergartners are considered behind in language skills. Credit
> > > Katherine Taylor for The New York Times Privacy advocates and the
> > > Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union raised
> > > concerns about the recordings. In response, Providence officials
> > > disabled playback functions on the devices and promised that home
> > > visitors and others would never be able to listen to
> > the
> > > actual conversations. The recordings are immediately erased once
> > > they are uploaded for word-count analysis.
> > >
> > > Researchers say such recordings will help them track results. In the
> > short
> > > term, scholars will evaluate whether the home visits prompt parents
> > > to
> > talk
> > > more. In the longer term, they will be looking for improvements in
> > > future academic performance.
> > >
> > > Child advocates say programs need to convey the subtlety of
> > > communication as well as simply trying to bolster word counts. "It's
> > > not just saying, 'You need to say this amount of words to your kids
> > > every day and then they're going to be smart and successful,' " said
> > > Claire Lerner, director of parenting resources at Zero to Three, a
> > > nonprofit group that promotes healthy development in the early years.
> > >
> > > "We don't want parents talking at babies," Ms. Lerner said. "We want
> > > parents talking with babies."
> > >
> > > In addition to tracking word counts, the Lena device can detect when
> > > parents and caregivers wait for -- and respond to -- the verbal
> > utterances of
> > > their children.
> > >
> > > On the visit last week, Ms. Taveras showed Ms. González how much she
> > > and Mr. Ixcuna had increased such "conversational turns" with Deisy.
> > >
> > > Ms. González nodded, determined. "The next one will be even higher,"
> > > she said.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
>
Status: O