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[Xmca-l] Re: Article on Positioning Theory



Very interesting substitution!



Donna Kotsopoulos, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Faculty of Education & Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics
Wilfrid Laurier University
75 University Avenue West, BA313K
Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3C5
(519) 884-0710 x 3953
www.wlu.ca/education/dkotsopoulos
www.wlu.ca/mathbrains


DISCLAIMER: This e-mail and any file(s) transmitted with it, is intended for the exclusive use by the person(s) mentioned above as recipient(s). Any unauthorized distribution, copying or other use is strictly prohibited.
>>> On 3/31/2014 at 1:26 AM, in message <5338FCA2.4020200@mira.net>, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

Now that you mention it, Mike, I'd say "collusion" is just a way of
characterising collaboration in the case of there being something
illegitimate about the object of the collaboration.

Andy
------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Andy Blunden*
http://home.mira.net/~andy/


mike cole wrote:
> Could you consider substituting the word collusion for the word
> collaboration,
> Andy?
> mike
>
>
> On Sun, Mar 30, 2014 at 8:01 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
> <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>
>     Donna,
>     I don't think there is a particular need to go in search of
>     theories here. Positioning theory, which I gather (?) is the study
>     of how people are positioned by and for collaboration, taken
>     together with Vygotsky's cultural psychology and the tradition of
>     acivity theory, seems quite enough for me. :) Vygotsky gave us an
>     approach to how concepts are formed, through the collaborative use
>     of tools and symbols, and it seems to me, that self-concept is an
>     important limiting case of concept formation. I tend to see every
>     collabortion as the active instantiation of a concept of "what we
>     are doing together," which necessarily includes a diversity of
>     actions by different individuals, and "different points of view."
>
>     Andy
>     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>     *Andy Blunden*
>     http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
>
>
>     Donna Kotsopoulos wrote:
>
>         The idea of the positioning occurring before the collaboration
>         has taken place is consistent with Gee's idea about one
>         storyline infecting another - both at the group level and at
>         the individual level. I believe that an individual can rewrite
>         those storylines or make conscious choices to adopt a
>         different version. I'm not fully familiar with this literature
>         but I think the theory of mind research and "theory of self"
>         here would be a useful.
>           Donna Kotsopoulos, Ph.D.
>         Associate Professor
>         Faculty of Education & Faculty of Science, Department of
>         Mathematics
>         Wilfrid Laurier University
>         75 University Avenue West, BA313K
>         Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3C5
>         (519) 884-0710 x 3953
>         www.wlu.ca/education/dkotsopoulos
>         <http://www.wlu.ca/education/dkotsopoulos>
>         <http://www.wlu.ca/education/dkotsopoulos>
>         www.wlu.ca/mathbrains <http://www.wlu.ca/mathbrains>
>         <http://www.wlu.ca/mathbrains>
>          DISCLAIMER: This e-mail and any file(s) transmitted with it,
>         is intended for the exclusive use by the person(s) mentioned
>         above as recipient(s). Any unauthorized distribution, copying
>         or other use is strictly prohibited.
>         >>> On 3/29/2014 at 8:43 PM, in message
>         <53376899.7060408@mira.net
>         <53376899.7060408@mira.net">mailto:53376899.7060408@mira.net>>, Andy Blunden
>         <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>         I'm learning a lot from all this! :)
>         If (in my example of the artist hiring a technician) we were
>         to ask "How
>         is the technician positioned as a technician and how is the artist
>         positioned as an artist?" I am assuming that my reader has
>         acquired  the
>         same concepts of "technician" and "artist", that is, that they are
>         somewhat educated citizens of a society in which these "roles"
>         (?) are
>         meaningful.
>         In other words, "positioning" is something which takes place
>         to a great
>         extent before the collaborators meet.
>         Likewise, as Greg pointed out, the acceptable and expected
>         modes of
>         collaboration are also created before the kids walk into the
>         classroom.
>         So positioning and collaboration are cultural products which
>         pre-exist
>         their instantiation in any collaborative act.
>         Andy
>         ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>         *Andy Blunden*
>         http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
>         <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
>
>
>         Greg Thompson wrote:
>         > Lynda,
>         > Your email points to an interesting tension that I think is
>         at the center
>         > of the discussion of Donna's paper. On the one hand you note
>         that
>         > collaboration is hard wired, biological, and (seemingly)
>         inevitable. On the
>         > other hand you point out that we have to teach children to
>         collaborate, and
>         > collaborative classrooms can be contrasted with traditional
>         education
>         > (which is, by implication, not collaborative).
>         >
>         > I take Andy's point to be that even traditional education is
>         collaborative
>         > - just a different kind of collaboration from what you find in a
>         > "collaborative classroom." But the kind of collaboration we
>         find in
>         > traditional classrooms might not be a good type of
>         collaboration for
>         > everyone just as the "collaborative classrooms that Donna
>         describes appear
>         > not to be good for everyone.
>         >
>         > Thus, we see two notions of collaboration. One in which
>         "collaboration" is
>         > everywhere (even in traditional education!) and the other in
>         which it must
>         > be "accomplished" or "made" by particular means - "collaborative
>         > classrooms".
>         >
>         > That seems to me to be one of the central tensions between
>         folks discussing
>         > on the listserve.
>         >
>         > And it seems to me like there is some really important work
>         still to be
>         > done in laying bare this contradiction between notions of
>         "collaboration"
>         > and notions of "classroom collaboration".
>         >
>         > For example, how can we find "collaboration" in unexpected
>         places (e.g.
>         > "traditional education")? Similarly, how the different
>         configurations of
>         > "collaboration" can be differently productive for different
>         children. And
>         > also important, as Donna has pointed out, how might "classroom
>         > collaboration" not be so "collaborative"?!
>         >
>         > So then with this distinction, we might say that
>         "collaborative classrooms"
>         > might not be a panacea, but we could hardly solve any of the
>         many problems
>         > that confront us without some form of "collaboration."
>         >
>         > That's just my two nickels worth.
>         > (same as yesterday's two cents but adjusted for inflation).
>         > -greg
>         >
>         > "But also when I am active scientifically, etc. - an
>         activity which I can
>         > seldom perform in direct community with others - then my
>         activity is
>         > social, because I perform it as a man. Not only is the
>         material of my
>         > activity given to me as a social product (as is even the
>         language in which
>         > the thinker is active): my own existence is social activity,
>         and therefore
>         > that which I make of myself, I make of myself for society
>         and with the
>         > consciousness of myself as a social being."
>         > Marx, 1844, p. 298
>         >
>         >
>         >
>         >
>         > On Sat, Mar 29, 2014 at 12:01 PM, Stone, Lynda
>         <lstone@skymail.csus.edu <mailto:lstone@skymail.csus.edu>>wrote:
>         >
>         >
>         >> Hi Greg!
>         >>
>         >> Well I generally try to maintain my role as a lurker---but
>         I'm dropping in
>         >> to make
>         >> a  comment or two--hope they make sense and are of some help.
>         >>
>         >> Andy's point may be what is needed to shape the trajectory
>         of the
>         >> conversation
>         >> around collaboration.  Although his reason may be grounded
>         in a Marxist
>         >> angle, equally
>         >> important is a biological one.  We are hard wired to
>         collaborate---we come
>         >> with the
>         >> ability to engage in intersubjectivity, a fundamentally
>         collaborative
>         >> process.  So, each
>         >> and every time peers, teachers and students, etc. come to
>         some relatively
>         >> shared
>         >> understandings, feelings, or interactively enact an
>         identity, and so
>         >> forth, they are engaged
>         >> in collaborative acts, i.e.,more than one person/child
>         taking part in an
>         >> event/activity.  And,
>         >> because events/activities come into existence through
>         discourse practices
>         >> and are influenced
>         >> by the local culture (its historical past & connection to
>         the larger
>         >> culture), to understand
>         >> collaboration from participants' point of view requires an
>         understanding
>         >> of the situation
>         >> they are in and how this  situation emerges over time---so,
>         collaboration
>         >> in educational settings
>         >> is not only a way of "rethinking/restructuring" engagement
>         in contrast to
>         >> traditional educational
>         >> practices--collaboration is   itself part of a
>         developmental process, just
>         >> as infants learn how over
>         >> time  to collaborate with their parents in different cultures.
>         >>
>         >> So, Andy's questions:   "What kinds of collaborations are
>         needed at this
>         >> moment?  And, "how
>         >> should they be configured?" can be combined with so many
>         other contextual
>         >> questions that can
>         >> help unravel what collaboration means and how should
>         collaboration be
>         >> configured.  For example,
>         >> how do children come to value (or see as morally right)
>         >> helping/coordinating behaviors? Under
>         >> what circumstances to children collaborate (help) each
>         other and how is
>         >> this related to the social
>         >> norms and expectations?  I have found that the context
>         shapes what
>         >> collaboration means and as a
>         >> consequence influences the social processes that enable
>         children to
>         >> cooperate (or not) with each other.
>         >> An essential part of any collaboration, as Donna points
>         out, is a
>         >> positioning process---one that is also
>         >> influenced by the meaning/definition/value/moral aspects of
>         engaging in
>         >> learning activity with others.
>         >>
>         >> There are so many other questions to be asked to figure out
>         >> "collaboration"---I hope my musings
>         >> on the topic contributes a bit.  In any case, Donna's paper
>         has certainly
>         >> pushed my thinking--
>         >>
>         >> An appreciative lurker!
>         >> -lynda
>         >>
>         >>
>         >>
>         >>
>         >>
>         >>
>         >>
>         >>
>         >> What KINDS of
>         >>
>         >>> collaborations are needed at this moment? How should they
>         be configured.
>         >>>
>         >> On Mar 29, 2014, at 7:50 AM, Greg Thompson wrote:
>         >>
>         >>
>         >>> Folks, if I may jump in here, I think that there is a
>         definitional
>         >>>
>         >> problem
>         >>
>         >>> here: What is collaboration?
>         >>>
>         >>> Andy seems to be coming at this from the Marx's angle that
>         to be human is
>         >>> to collaborate (man is a zoopoliticon - humans are
>         collaborative all the
>         >>> way down...). I think from Andy's point would be that all
>         classrooms are
>         >>> collaborative. But this isn't the way that most ed
>         researchers think.
>         >>>
>         >>> The ideology of individualism runs rampant in much
>         theorizing about
>         >>> education. Ed researchers start at square one that says
>         that students
>         >>>
>         >> begin
>         >>
>         >>> as individuals. In this case "collaboration" is an
>         activity that one must
>         >>> ACTIVELY make happen in the classroom (or anywhere else
>         for that matter).
>         >>> "Group projects" and "collaborative classrooms" are seen
>         as exceptions to
>         >>> the rule of "individualized learning" that is taken as the
>         norm. And in
>         >>> theorizing about education, "collaborative classroom" has
>         a very
>         >>>
>         >> particular
>         >>
>         >>> meaning (I'm not very familiar with this lit, but I gather
>         this is true
>         >>> from what Donna has told us - here and in her paper).
>         >>>
>         >>> I'd add that there is a counterpart in the business world
>         that follows
>         >>>
>         >> this
>         >>
>         >>> same kind of thinking - it's called "working in teams."
>         Again, this
>         >>> involves an active and conscious decision to do something
>         different from
>         >>> what people normally do (i.e. "individual work") and have
>         them work
>         >>> together. Most folks in business know this genre/frame of
>         interaction.
>         >>>
>         >> Some
>         >>
>         >>> are head over heels for it and some loathe it (one of
>         Donna's points).
>         >>>
>         >> But
>         >>
>         >>> it seems to generally be accepted that "collaboration" is
>         something
>         >>> unnatural that one must "make" happen.
>         >>>
>         >>> It is this notion of "collaboration" that Donna is going
>         after. And in
>         >>>
>         >> the
>         >>
>         >>> literature I'm willing to bet that people talk of
>         "collaborative
>         >>> classrooms" as a panacea (this is how every "new" idea in
>         education is
>         >>>
>         >> sold
>         >>
>         >>> to people). Frankly, I think this makes for a very weak
>         view of
>         >>> collaboration - and one in need of criticism (as Donna has
>         done).
>         >>>
>         >>> So I think that this would be a very interesting direction
>         to pursue the
>         >>> questions that Donna has raised in more depth: what is
>         this discourse
>         >>>
>         >> about
>         >>
>         >>> "collaborative classrooms" all about? What are the fundamental
>         >>>
>         >> assumptions
>         >>
>         >>> that serve as the starting point against which
>         "collaborative classrooms"
>         >>> are seen as having to be "made"? And, to follow Andy's
>         thinking, isn't
>         >>> collaboration always already there in the classroom - in
>         the class
>         >>>
>         >> clown's
>         >>
>         >>> jokes, in the passing of notes during class, the
>         conspiring against the
>         >>> teacher or conspiring with the teacher against another
>         class or the
>         >>> principal, etc. (and I bet if you looked closer, you'd
>         find that even
>         >>> Mitchell is involved in some pretty impressive
>         collaborations in this
>         >>> classroom! It's just that they won't be happening during
>         those times that
>         >>> are EXPLICITLY marked as "collaborative work").
>         >>>
>         >>> And I think this will naturally lead not to the question
>         of "to
>         >>>
>         >> collaborate
>         >>
>         >>> or not to collaborate" but rather to Andy's question: What
>         KINDS of
>         >>> collaborations are needed at this moment? How should they
>         be configured.
>         >>>
>         >>> Collaboration anyone?
>         >>> -greg
>         >>>
>         >>>
>         >>>
>         >>>
>         >>> On Sat, Mar 29, 2014 at 5:58 AM, Donna Kotsopoulos
>         <dkotsopo@wlu.ca <mailto:dkotsopo@wlu.ca>>
>         >>>
>         >> wrote:
>         >>
>         >>>> It's been a pleasure joining the group so thank you for this
>         >>>>
>         >> invitation. I
>         >>
>         >>>> admire the scholarly exchange and it has really stretched
>         my thinking
>         >>>>
>         >> in a
>         >>
>         >>>> number of ways.
>         >>>>
>         >>>> Yes, for some students collaboration may not be in their
>         best interest
>         >>>>
>         >> to
>         >>
>         >>>> collaborate. Our objectives as teachers to have them
>         collaborate, may
>         >>>>
>         >> not
>         >>
>         >>>> be very relevant to the student or may be even harmful.
>         That student
>         >>>>
>         >> that
>         >>
>         >>>> really ought to have an option has to compromise
>         something in such
>         >>>> instances - their emotional, social, and or intellectual well
>         >>>> being/advancement, for example. That being said, any
>         collaborative
>         >>>>
>         >> effort
>         >>
>         >>>> is a compromise of sort for each person. This is the very
>         essence of
>         >>>>
>         >> human
>         >>
>         >>>> interaction. It's the degree and the damage from the
>         compromise that
>         >>>>
>         >> must
>         >>
>         >>>> be weighted.
>         >>>>
>         >>>> Mitchell likely would have picked another person to work
>         with if given
>         >>>>
>         >> the
>         >>
>         >>>> option to work alone or work with a partner or small
>         group. I would
>         >>>>
>         >> surmise
>         >>
>         >>>> that the students he would have picked out would have
>         been "nice"
>         >>>>
>         >> students,
>         >>
>         >>>> for lack of better words, than stars mathematically.
>         >>>>
>         >>>> Alice would have picked the cool kids to work with. She
>         would have
>         >>>> compromised her intellectual outcomes.
>         >>>>
>         >>>> Ella would have picked the smartest in the class by her
>         standards, and
>         >>>> then should have tried to outsmart them. Ella is another
>         interesting
>         >>>>
>         >> case.
>         >>
>         >>>> Always the perpetrator in every group she was in
>         regardless of the group
>         >>>> membership. Ella was also the class Victorian that year.
>         She would
>         >>>> compromise social relationships to achieve her means to
>         her end.
>         >>>>
>         >>>> Will would have picked those students that would have
>         done the work for
>         >>>> him. Learning was an easy compromise for him.
>         >>>>
>         >>>> Collaboration means compromise in my mind. Regardless of
>         the context.
>         >>>>
>         >>>> d.
>         >>>>
>         >>>>
>         >>>>
>         >>>> Donna Kotsopoulos, Ph.D.
>         >>>> Associate Professor
>         >>>> Faculty of Education & Faculty of Science, Department of
>         Mathematics
>         >>>> Wilfrid Laurier University
>         >>>> 75 University Avenue West, BA313K
>         >>>> Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3C5
>         >>>> (519) 884-0710 x 3953
>         >>>> www.wlu.ca/education/dkotsopoulos
>         <http://www.wlu.ca/education/dkotsopoulos>
>         >>>> www.wlu.ca/mathbrains <http://www.wlu.ca/mathbrains>
>         >>>>
>         >>>>
>         >>>> DISCLAIMER: This e-mail and any file(s) transmitted with
>         it, is intended
>         >>>> for the exclusive use by the person(s) mentioned above as
>         recipient(s).
>         >>>>
>         >> Any
>         >>
>         >>>> unauthorized distribution, copying or other use is
>         strictly prohibited.
>         >>>>
>         >>>>>>> On 3/28/2014 at 9:54 AM, in message
>         <53357F22.1070109@mira.net <53357F22.1070109@mira.net">mailto:53357F22.1070109@mira.net>>,
>         >>>>>>>
>         >> Andy
>         >>
>         >>>> Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>         >>>>
>         >>>> Thank you, Donna, BTW, for your generous use of your time
>         and energy to
>         >>>> discuss these issues with XMCA-ers.
>         >>>>
>         >>>> I think this means then, Donna, that it cannot quite make
>         sense to say
>         >>>> that "for some students... collaboration may not be in
>         their best
>         >>>> interests", for the more appropriate posing of this
>         question must be
>         >>>> *what type of collaboration* is or is not in the best
>         interest of this
>         >>>> or that student. Which then poses the question of "What
>         types of
>         >>>> collaboration are there?" rather than turning to the
>         detailed mechanisms
>         >>>> by which a given individual is positioned in a way which
>         may be damaging
>         >>>> to them.
>         >>>>
>         >>>> What do you mean by "compromise" in this context, Donna?
>         >>>>
>         >>>> Andy
>         >>>>
>         >>>>
>         ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>         >>>> *Andy Blunden*
>         >>>> http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>         <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/> <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
>         >>>>
>         >>>>
>         >>>> Donna Kotsopoulos wrote:
>         >>>>
>         >>>>> I'll try to address the recent comments in one email.
>         >>>>>
>         >>>>> Yes, I fully agree with Andy that every human
>         relationship is an
>         >>>>> instance of collaboration. This should suggest that more
>         realistic
>         >>>>> expectations of school based collaborations are in
>         order. There is
>         >>>>> compromise with every human relationship and the same is
>         true in
>         >>>>> collaborative activities with children and schools.
>         >>>>>
>         >>>>> Andy's point about the need for a conceptual framework
>         for these types
>         >>>>> of understanding such human relations and interactions
>         in a school
>         >>>>> setting is interesting. Such a framework would have to
>         include the
>         >>>>> possibility of compromise, an open lens attending to
>         productive
>         >>>>> silencing and what I had referred to in earlier drafts
>         as productive
>         >>>>> privileging (Will's case in the article), a critical
>         evaluation of
>         >>>>> learning and the kinds of learning that has taken place.
>         >>>>>
>         >>>>>
>         >>>>>
>         >>>
>         >>> --
>         >>> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
>         >>> Assistant Professor
>         >>> Department of Anthropology
>         >>> 883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
>         >>> Brigham Young University
>         >>> Provo, UT 84602
>         >>> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
>         >>>
>         >>
>         >>
>         >
>         >
>         >
>
>
>