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[Xmca-l] Re: The ideal head



Helen--- I cannot get a copy of the whole text here, but the last chapter
of
Luria's *The nature of human conflicts: researches in disorganization of
human behavior *has a discussion of cases very like the one you describe.
Although he is not dealing with the sort of class/power issue central to
your case, the power part is there. The section titled "Experiments with
direct control: Problems of Stimulus and Means.

  *>"Many observations support our view that the consideration of the
voluntary *
*>act as accomplished by "will-power" is a myth and that the human cannot
by *
*>direct force control his behavior any more than "a shadow can carry
stones".*

If someone has a pdf of the chapter it would be helpful, I believe.

mike



On Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 1:07 PM, Katherine Wester Neal <wester@uga.edu>
wrote:

> As someone who spent years teaching middle grades literacy, these sorts of
> issues led me to pursue a doctorate. My middle schoolers weren't only
> trying to overcome challenges with literacy; in many cases, they were also
> trying to overcome vast differences of culture and history in what they
> were reading and how they were expected to perform literacies in schools.
> It sounds like that's happening in Carol's example. (First time posting, a
> couple years as an XMCA reader, so hello everyone!)
>
> As Carol said earlier, maybe Tarzan's authors had no idea about what it
> takes to be literate. I think we still don't know what it takes to be
> literate across different cultures and times:
>
> http://time.com/3015497/learn-to-read-past-fourth-grade/
>
> Grit seems to have been taken up lately as a solution, perhaps because
> it's research-based and made for a popular TED talk:
>
> http://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_the_key_to_success_grit
>
> I think it's much easier to tout grit as a solution because, as Peter
> said, it doesn't require the untangling of the myriad issues often faced by
> people in poverty.
>
> Okay, I think that's enough for an initial post...
>
> Katie Wester-Neal
>
> Doctoral Candidate
> Department of Educational Theory and Practice
> University of Georgia
>
> ________________________________________
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> on behalf of MICHAEL W SMITH <mwsmith@temple.edu>
> Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2014 2:38 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The ideal head
>
> The progressive flip-side of that argument is to recognize that kids in
> poverty have manifested the grit they need to succeed in other contexts.
> At Temple we're moving to a no-test admissions option to acknowledge that
> kids from the comprehensive high schools in Philadelphia have personal
> resources that SATs can't measure.
>
>
> On Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 2:28 PM, Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu> wrote:
>
> > And yet "grit" is now the vogue term used by US policymakers to indicate
> > that kids in poverty's main problem is not trying hard enough.
> >
> >
> http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar12/vol69/num06/Got-Grit%C2%A2.aspx
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> > xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Helena Worthen
> > Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:46 PM
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The ideal head
> >
> > But my point is that the "fictional" idea has power -- enough power to
> > make people think that if a kid tries, and tries, and tries, they can
> > overcome the lack of special resources that are symbolized by "English
> > nobility," or, in the real world, a rich cultural environment in
> childhood,
> > good food, safe place to sleep, attentive educated parents, nice schools,
> > etc etc...
> >
> > Sometimes the "people" who believe that trying hard is enough are the
> > parents. Sometimes they are the overseers of the school systems, who
> ought
> > to know better.
> >
> > Helena Worthen
> > helenaworthen@gmail.com
> >
> > On Jul 24, 2014, at 1:34 PM, Carol Macdonald wrote:
> >
> > > Peter
> > >
> > > Or perhaps that the writer of The Tarzan stories had no idea about
> > > what it takes to become literate.  He had no-one to show him the
> > > arbitrariness of language and reading.
> > >
> > > If you remember, the primers for reading had multisyllable words in
> them.
> > >
> > > Peter is right - only in fiction is this possible.
> > >
> > > And trying harder isn't necessarily the way to move forward. Trying
> > > something *else *might do it.  Tell that mum.
> > >
> > > Carol
> > >
> > >
> > > On 24 July 2014 17:53, Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu> wrote:
> > >
> > >> I'd say that working harder worked for Tarzan because he was
> fictional.
> > >>
> > >> -----Original Message-----
> > >> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> > >> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Helena Worthen
> > >> Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:40 PM
> > >> To: lchcmike@gmail.com; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > >> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The ideal head
> > >>
> > >> These views are persuasively bound up in the story of Tarzan, an
> > >> incredibly popular book published in 1913 and still being sold.
> > >> Tarzan, abandoned in infancy in the African jungle, comes upon his
> dead
> > parents'
> > >> cabin and their library and, without ever hearing human speech much
> > >> less English spoken, manages to teach himself to read. Why? Well, 1)
> > >> he tries hard and 2) he's English nobility. The generations of kids
> > >> and their parents who read the Tarzan story (or see the movies) never
> > >> question this train wreck of ideas -- on the contrary, it provides
> > >> support for the idea that learning is the result of trying hard and
> > >> being born smart (except that that's a code word for upper class).
> > >>
> > >> I had a heart-wrenching experience the other day that illustrates how
> > >> this works in real life. We're spending the summer in a small town in
> > >> Vermont -- working class, very dependent on big ski area tourism. A
> > >> friend of mine, a working class woman, is paying big bucks to send
> > >> her 12 year old daughter to an academic summer camp at a very
> > high-level hotshot prep school nearby.
> > >> The hope is that, with this extra boost, the girl will be able to
> > >> speed past the pitfalls of the local high school (which has a 30%
> > >> dropout rate, drug problems, etc.). The other students at the summer
> > >> camp are prep school kids repeating classes they didnt' ace plus rich
> > >> kids from all over the world, especially Asia. My friend's daughter
> > >> did fine the first week, then seemed to just freeze. Now daughter
> > >> wants to quit and is refusing to eat, etc. Her mom's idea is that the
> > >> girl just needs to try harder, try harder, try harder.Mother has
> > >> moved down there and is starting to attend classes with her.  Mother
> > and daughter are about ready to hit each other.
> > >>
> > >> My opinion: trying harder worked for Tarzan because he was English
> > >> nobility, and someone forgot to make sure my friend and her daughter
> > >> were English nobility (meaning, someone forgot to prepare her
> > >> daughter with all the class advantages, including self confidence,
> > >> that the other kids brought with them, along with their iPhones and
> > designer swimsuits).
> > >>
> > >> Where do you start, in a situation like this?
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> Helena Worthen
> > >> helenaworthen@gmail.com
> > >>
> > >> On Jul 19, 2014, at 6:38 PM, mike cole wrote:
> > >>
> > >>> Hi Peter. I had a similar experience regarding the accidental
> > >>> discovery of literature containing those colonialist-era books. My
> > >>> example was written for high level scholars over a century ago, but
> > >>> it, like this piece, expresses views that have not by any means
> > >>> disappeared in the intervening century.
> > >>>
> > >>> Nor has the resulting violence seemed to have eased.
> > >>>
> > >>> Attached.
> > >>> mike
> > >>>
> > >>>
> > >>> On Sat, Jul 19, 2014 at 12:03 PM, Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu>
> > >> wrote:
> > >>>
> > >>>>
> > >>>> http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/07/the-ideal-head
> > >>>> -b
> > >>>> izarre-racial-teachings-from-a-100-year-old-textbook/374693/#commen
> > >>>> ts
> > >>>>
> > >>>> I wrote this very short essay that some might find interesting, and
> > >>>> have linked to the page that includes reader comments, which are
> > >>>> prolific and edifying for those who believe in the progress of
> > >>>> human thinking. p
> > >>>>
> > >>> <Drummond- Ascent O fMan.doc>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > Carol A  Macdonald Ph D (Edin)
> > > Developmental psycholinguist
> > > Academic, Researcher,  and Editor
> > > Honorary Research Fellow: Department of Linguistics, Unisa
> >
> >
> >
> >
>
>
> --
> Michael W. Smith
> Associate Dean for Faculty Development
>      and Academic Affairs
> Temple University
> College of Education
> 237  Ritter Hall
> 1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
> Philadelphia, PA 19122
> 215.204.2296
>