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[Xmca-l] Re: book of possible interest



David,
I have been following your reflections through this thread.
You commented:

 So it's almost always more useful for me to
think of learning phenomena as NOT reducible to the physical, at least not
in their unit of analysis

I have been reflecting on the notion of *bildung* as learning.
The notion of *cultivation* and *disposition* and *comportment* as the
potential of learning.
I came across this quote from Gramsci who was questioning the notion of
*laws* as the basis for making social predictions. Such *laws* excluded the
subjective factor from history.
Gramsci wrote on social process: "Objective always means 'humanly
objective' which can be held to correspond exactly to 'historically
subjective' "

Merleau-Ponty also explored what I refer to as *disposition* with this
quote on the reality of history:
History "awakens us to the importance of daily events and action. For it is
a philosophy [of history -LP] which arouses in us a love for our times
which are not the simple repetition of human eternity nor merely the
conclusion of premises already postulated. It is a view that like the most
fragile object of perception - a soap bubble, or a wave - or like the most
simple dialogue, embraces indivisibly all the order and all the disorder of
the world."

I read these passages from Gramsci and M-P  as a way of exploring
*comportment* or *disposition* that is *learned*.  [bildung??] There is no
necessary or sufficient standpoint for interpreting this inherently
heterogeneous process. However we may potentially learn various
*approaches* or *ways* of being-in-the-world through learning processes.
The notion of *bildung* is a way to reflect on this learning process
Larry






On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 3:54 PM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
wrote:

> On 10 July 2014 22:33, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Huw:
> >
> > Is learning material? In what sense? At what point?
> >
>
> Historically, with Marx.  :)
>
> The rest of your formations are subsumed by Baldwin's 1st and 2nd axioms of
> genetic logic.  :)
>
> As someone experienced with computation and computational processes, I do
> find it quite straightfoward to think of memories as material impressions.
> Cached values or lazy evaluation -- it's quite straightforward...  Not
> rubbish, not garbage, but Babbage!
>
> Best,
> Huw
>
>
>
> >
> > I guess I think of it this way. All phenomena in the universe are
> physical,
> > but only in the final analysis. When my father (who is a retired but
> > unrepentant solar physicist) studies these phenomena he uses various
> units
> > of analysis (my father likes to think big, so his usual unit of analysis
> is
> > a solar emission many times larger than the earth, but sometimes,
> depending
> > on the problem, he will condescend to think about smaller particles like
> > atomic nuclei). Some of these physical phenomena, when they cool down a
> > little, are chemical as well, and because these phenomena are chemical as
> > well as physical, the unit of analysis that is proper to them is the
> > molecule and its motions, and not simply the particle (Dad doesn't care
> > about these phenomena; he likes his physics hot).
> >
> > Some of these chemical phenomena are biological as well, and here once
> > again the unit of analysis has to change (e.g. to the cell) in order to
> > take into account the new properties which come into being at this scale.
> > Some biological phenomena are cultural-historical in turn, and here too
> we
> > must change the unit of analysis in order not to lose essential
> information
> > that is created with higher levels of organization and complexity.Of
> > course, these cultural historical phenomena are all reducible to
> biological
> > phenomena, and therefore reducible to chemical and physical phenomena,
> but
> > only in the final analysis. Hey, in the final analysis, as Carolyn Porco
> > says, we all get reduced to physical phenomena when the sun explodes and
> > blows the particles that were once our bodies out into space, to enjoy
> > eternal life...but only as physical phenomena.
> >
> > In the meantime, if we want to understand cultural-historical phenomena
> as
> > such, we have to confront their higher levels of organization and
> > complexity.The cultural historical phenomena that I am most interested in
> > turn out to have another subset of phenomena which Halliday calls
> > semiotic--that is, they are sociologically cultural-historical phenomena
> > that stand, even if only for a fleeting instant,
> > for psychologically cultural-historical phenomena. These phenomena are
> > material too (that is, they are biological, chemical, and even
> > physical), for the way things stand for other things is ultimately
> > reducible to a thing: words are, in the final analysis, "made of living
> > breath", as Shakespeare says, or "layers of moving air" if you prefer
> > Engels.
> >
> > But only in the final analysis. In the interim, too much information is
> > lost when we reduce these semiotic phenomena to physical, material,
> > things (for example, when my students try to model learner comprehension
> > problems as pure phonetic discrimination without taking into account the
> > layer of wording or meaning). So it's almost always more useful for me to
> > think of learning phenomena as NOT reducible to the physical, at least
> not
> > in their unit of analysis. Actually, it seems to me that the
> > general "cultural-historical" level of analysis is if anything a step
> > closer to biology or chemistry or physics than the subset of cultural
> > historical phenomena that I mean when I refer to learning, because to me
> > learning is microgenetic, that is, POTENTIALLY ontogenetic, which is in
> > turn POTENTIALLY sociogenetic, which (to me) is the general level of
> > analysis we mean when we talk about cultural historical phenomena. So the
> > real answer to Mike's colorful complaint about handles is not "Community
> of
> > Learners" but actually "physico-chemico-bio-socio-semiotic learning
> > activities".
> >
> > Time for that quantum physical cup of coffee you were talking about....
> >
> > David Kellogg
> > Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> >
> >
> > On 10 July 2014 08:53, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > David,
> > >
> > > Just to be clear, the error I was referring to was the attribution of a
> > > theory (as an adjective) to the material thing (learning).  It would be
> > > like saying, I am going to make a Newtonian cup of coffee in the
> morning
> > > and a quantum mechanical cup of coffee in the afternoon.
> > >
> > > I suppose colourful language serves the purpose of deliberate
> vagueness.
> > > It's hard to be trendy and have a precise point.
> > >
> > > I fear we are soon approaching the "teach yourself activity theory for
> > > dummies" book someday soon.  From my understanding, the theory itself
> > > repudiates such a thing -- one cannot spoon feed theory -- but I don't
> > > think that will stop folk trying.
> > >
> > > I see no problem (or contradiction) in top down approaches.  Solving a
> > > problem in general is a powerful approach to many problems.  For many
> > > problems the concrete details are amenable to design and configuration,
> > one
> > > can often choose tools to suit the proposed solution rather than
> > > vice-versa.   But from an educational perspective, I see no alternative
> > > than starting with the individual, ofcourse one can have general
> > strategies
> > > in doing so -- waiting to be asked before giving an explanation etc.
> > >
> > > Nice chatting.
> > >
> > > Best,
> > > Huw
> > >
> > > On 9 July 2014 22:46, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Huw:
> > > >
> > > > Helen has written a remarkable, important book. I gather it's part of
> > her
> > > > Ph.D. thesis, but it doesn't really read like a Ph.D. thesis. It
> reads
> > > like
> > > > a teacher-trainer (or "professional development consultant", or
> > whatever
> > > we
> > > > are supposed to call them) with a problem who eventually, with a
> little
> > > > help from the classics of cultural historical psychology and a lot of
> > > help
> > > > from a co-teacher (who has a somewhat bookish, inert but nevertheless
> > > > respectful and open acquaintance with those classics) achieves a very
> > > open
> > > > but nevertheless very workable solution.
> > > >
> > > > So the bit I quoted represents the problem, or rather, two problems.
> On
> > > the
> > > > one hand, Helen is trying to do something new: she wants to bring new
> > > CHAT
> > > > concepts to bear on extant classroom activities and modify them in
> ways
> > > > that she is confident will work. On the other, Helen is working with
> > some
> > > > pretty experienced (and even somewhat brutalized) teachers: they have
> > > seen
> > > > "Professional Development" fads come and go, collected their free
> > lunches
> > > > and go on doing things the old way.
> > > >
> > > > Helen achieves her solution from the bottom up. Eventually, she does
> > > find a
> > > > teacher who can teacher her a lot and who, even though Helen herself
> > > > is uniquely gifted, with not only the theoretical background we all
> > > share,
> > > > but also considerable first hand experience as a teacher and a
> parent,
> > > can
> > > > nevertheless be taught in turn. But as you can see from the extract,
> > > she's
> > > > extremely open, even to savage, unfair, and somewhat obtuse
> criticisms.
> > > > Mike's critique of "cultural historical" is not that it is an
> > > > epistemological error or a typological one, or that it puts the
> product
> > > > "culture" before the process "history". It's not even that it
> suggests
> > > that
> > > > on the odd day Piagetian activities might be taking place, which, by
> > the
> > > > way, is probably true, since these teachers were mostly trained
> during
> > > the
> > > > "reign" of Piaget in the sixties and seventies.
> > > >
> > > > No, Mike's complaint is really, if you will pardon the expression, a
> > wank
> > > > of a complaint. He is just complaining that the name is uncool; it
> > > doesn't
> > > > sound like the popular teachers would like it; the name won't go with
> > an
> > > > embossed moose like "Abercrombie and Fitch" or "community of
> > > > learners" does. I think we have to accept that responsive, sensitive
> > > > teachers inevitably end up internalizing some of the worst aspects of
> > > > adolescent thinking, and this is an example. I might even say it's a
> > > > bullshit complaint. It's crap, etc. (But this is one of those
> > > > language situations where redundancy does not suggest development.)
> > > >
> > > > I guess if I encountered a bullshit complaint like that I would
> > complain
> > > a
> > > > little about "community of learners". I think that "community of
> > > > learners" is essentially a way of saying "socio-psychological": it's
> > > > relevant to everyday teaching, but it doesn't tell us much about how
> > the
> > > > "socio" got there, whereas "cultural-historical" does. I might even
> ask
> > > if
> > > > Mike is going to try to teach physics, chemistry, biology, or history
> > to
> > > > kids without some way of saying "physico-chemical" or
> > > "chemico-biological",
> > > > or "biologico-social". If not, then I don't see anything wrong with
> > > > teaching language, including the language of teaching, as something
> > > > "socio-semiotic" or "historico-cultural". But then, I never was one
> of
> > > the
> > > > cool kids.
> > > >
> > > > My problem is this. I too would like to write a book now. I have two
> in
> > > > mind, and they are both practical books about teacher training,
> > > > similar in their targets to Helen's book, which is why I am studying
> it
> > > > carefully. But I find that the books that I have in mind are really
> > > "about
> > > > something" in a way that Helen's book is not. I don't mean that
> Helen's
> > > > book has no object of study: like the title says, the object of study
> > is
> > > > teacher development. What I mean is that the teaching has no clear
> > object
> > > > of teaching: it's not specifically about teaching math or literacy or
> > > > anything else but about teaching in general. The books I have in mind
> > are
> > > > really about teaching literacy (I think I want to try to teach
> WRITING
> > > > before READING) and teaching science (I think I want to try a "hands
> > off"
> > > > approach that emphasizes word meanings instead of laboratory
> > > experiments).
> > > > And I am finding that I when I do this the result is not at all the
> > kind
> > > of
> > > > "bottom up" thing that Helen does; it's very top down.
> > > >
> > > > David Kellogg
> > > > Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On 9 July 2014 07:33, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Colourful.  The complaint seems perfectly valid though:  a
> > typological
> > > > and
> > > > > epistemological error all in one conflated term.  It suggests that
> on
> > > the
> > > > > odd hours of the day there are Piagetian activities taking place.
> >  Was
> > > > this
> > > > > part of the point of the chapter?
> > > > >
> > > > > Best,
> > > > > Huw
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > On 8 July 2014 21:40, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > > I'm actually in the middle of Chapter Three right now. What I can
> > > tell
> > > > > you
> > > > > > is that Helen's first two chapters are a kind of "Who's Who" at
> > xmca,
> > > > > with
> > > > > > Helen reading the great classics (in the wrong order) and talking
> > to
> > > > > Andy,
> > > > > > Greg, and others on this list. But beyond the litte shout-outs to
> > > xmca,
> > > > > in
> > > > > > Chapter Three, you find interesting problems like this. Helen is
> > > > setting
> > > > > up
> > > > > > a "Professional Learning ZPD". This an acronymy within an acronym
> > (an
> > > > > > "acro-acronym-nym", like the group I used to belong to in New
> York
> > > and
> > > > > > Paris, called "ACT-UP"), and in general Helen seems to have some
> > > > trouble
> > > > > > with names. On pp. 58-59, she writes.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > "In PLZ 4 I wrote the title 'Features of cultural Historical
> > Learning
> > > > > > Activities' across a piece of butcher's paper and asked the grou
> to
> > > > > > brainstorm features of activities that would be consistent with
> > > > cultural
> > > > > > historical theory. After a few suggestions, Mike suddenly
> > interrupted
> > > > > with:
> > > > > > MIKE: Can I ask, Helen, why such a wank of a name?
> > > > > > HELEN: Cultural-historical?
> > > > > > MIKE: Yeah, what a bullshit name.
> > > > > > DEB: What should it be Mike?
> > > > > > MIKE: What does it mean to anyone? Is that relevant to anyone
> that
> > > > > > name? Cultural-historical learning. What does that mean?
> > > > > > HELEN: Well....
> > > > > > MIKE: It's crap.
> > > > > > HELEN: Well, I don't think that you, that's the name of teh
> theoyr,
> > > > > > Cultural historical theory, but I think in terms of schools using
> > teh
> > > > > > theory they talk about Communities of Learners.
> > > > > > MIKE: Yeah, but why don't they call it that?
> > > > > > HELEN: OK, so (I start crossing out "cultural historical" and
> > > changing
> > > > it
> > > > > > to "Communities of Learners")
> > > > > > MIKE: That name is like calliing the ultra net site for teachers
> > > > 'design
> > > > > > space'. It has no relevance to the name whatsoever, and to use
> > > > > it--features
> > > > > > of cultural historical learning--sounds like a load of crap. It
> > > > > > doesn't have any relevance ot what it means. If you said to me
> > > cultural
> > > > > > historical learning, I go ....
> > > > > > BETH: I actually thought it meant talking about he past (general
> > > > > > agreement).
> > > > > > MIKE: That's what it implies, the past and how you used to teach.
> > > > > > HELEN: I suppose I'm just trying to familiarize you with the term
> > > > > (general
> > > > > > agreement)
> > > > > > MIKE: If you call it community of learners then it's something
> > that's
> > > > > > relevant."
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Helen then makes the (cultural-historical) point that words have
> a
> > > > > history,
> > > > > > but they are not necessarily YOUR history--for Helen, "cultural
> > > > > historical"
> > > > > > calls up a whole series of quite precise concepts, while
> "Community
> > > of
> > > > > > Learners" is kind of vague and undefined. But for the teachers
> (who
> > > > are,
> > > > > I
> > > > > > must say, not exactly reticent about sharing, and do not limit
> > > > themselves
> > > > > > to sharing their expertise) what you get is old times.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > It's funny that they ignore the word culture. I always thought
> that
> > > > > > "cultural historical" is a little bit of the cart before the
> > > horse....
> > > > > >
> > > > > > David Kellogg
> > > > > > Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > On 8 July 2014 21:40, Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu> wrote:
> > > > > >
> > > > > > > The Practice of Teachers' Professional Development
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > A Cultural-Historical Approach
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Helen Grimmett (Monash University, Australia)
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > This book uses Vygotsky's cultural-historical theory to
> provide a
> > > > > unique
> > > > > > > theorisation of teachers' professional development as a
> > practice. A
> > > > > > > practice can be described as the socially structured actions
> set
> > up
> > > > to
> > > > > > > produce a product or service aimed at meeting a collective
> human
> > > > need.
> > > > > In
> > > > > > > this case, collaborative, interventionist work with teachers in
> > ...
> > > > > Click
> > > > > > > here for a free preview and full description<
> > > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > >
> > > >
> > >
> >
> http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001ZduyW2xyB1USw9R1YjQno7GI-mDLfJ6m-729UFbNgCKe6Z_p9GP7xjN9IHr0mfZ1yni-XmxHyPfAaNcVjlENvx4l8ySiyRYKHRvvg2E6WbMlf3hNShpk2qTuRRu0ZenYc1mrXxe68_BX4FXljTnHjOx91vJalGeivvaQfmQF57rpGgcDrJe9bprlVyXQwjSo0U6yk-QJ1S5miZfuS7ohswmNs3UZWGMucMgWJyU6E_J3d8QHyWjpGuBM8i2twLXGBPHkZb6hFN4pF6PT3r3M7HYvwFdzAzSfRvpCd90DvQMVDuqkf5VY3ccoD6FppEGF&c=0Y23gLfSZ1jN_yGPyItMZic7SWiIoOcRfcrQWB0JYs9lkVW149lxUQ==&ch=ioZBoxRIwDxdvg-uu6NEwI-E45lgW01U_INO86ZNyJpwbp9zcKnCIA==
> > > > > > > >.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > >
> > > >
> > >
> >
>