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[Xmca-l] Re: A request for assistance



It seems to me that no straw man is really necessary here; there are very
real proponents for the argument that so-called "child-centred" education
privileges the rich and keeps working class kids in the dark about the
unwritten gentleman's code that surrounds "humanistic" education. I'm one,
but I think that Agelika has some more important adversaries.

The first opponent to attack is Vygotsky. In his lecture on psychological
development (in the untranslated "Foundations of Pedagogy"), he points out
that children raised in orphanages do not develop speech as well as those
who are raised in families, and he surmises that it is because that
children use amongst each other is simply not as demanding as that which
parents use. He also says that deaf children who are raised with siblings
will not develop signing as well as those who are raised by deaf parents,
and from this he concludes that ontogenesis is different from "natural"
processes like ontogenesis and even sociogenesis, in that the final form of
development has to be present and in interaction for development to take
place.

The second person to attack is Halliday (as well as Ruqaiya Hasan, Clare
Painter, and the whole of the systemic-functional school). Influenced by
Bernstein, they argued that "child-centred" forms of education supplied
only implicit knowledge of register and genre which reinforced what middle
class kids already knew, but was too implicit for kids not previously
exposed to the genre at home. This argument was violently rejected by Labov
(who I think did not really understand it). Curiously, though, nobody
rejects the idea that when a child speaks a foreign language at home, they
might need more explicit help with academic genres in school.

The third person to attack is Gordon Wells, who demonstrated that
differences in language surfaced already at three years old, and they were
traceable to the quality of conversation that children were receiving at
home. In particular, kids left with televisions or playing with younger
siblings were at a definite disadvantage in comparison with children who
were left with books and caring parents.

This is somehow reminiscent of the recent furore over Amy Chua's book
"Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother". Its follow up "The Triple Package" is
really about this issue as well. As usual, when there are such strong
feelings on both sides, it is probable that both have something important
to contribute. The real problem, and Agelika says, is that only one side is
really being heard. For all its pleasant air of toleration, academic
literature can be quite totalitarian.

David Kellogg
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.




On 17 August 2014 09:43, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hmmm. Its not on the front page.     http://www.nifdi.org/about-di
> mike'
>
>
>
> On Sat, Aug 16, 2014 at 5:38 PM, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I am not seeing any cases here where Engelmann, who is behind a lot of
> the
> > direct instruction game, still, is quoted as saying that play is useless
> if
> > not bad for poor/different kids although it might be find for the
> > loquacious middle class.
> >
> > There has to be a smoking gun out there on their website or some public
> > presentation.
> > mike
> >
> >
> > On Sat, Aug 16, 2014 at 1:24 PM, William Blanton <blantonwe@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> Hi Ageliki,
> >>
> >> You might take a read of some of Madeline Hunter's writing. Attached is
> >> two
> >> bibs on direct instruction. You might also take a look an Ken Goodman's
> >> argument against direct instruction. Another interesting challenge
> against
> >> direct instruction is Cole's idea of basic literacy activity rather than
> >> basic liter skills.
> >>
> >> BB
> >>
> >>
> >> On Sat, Aug 16, 2014 at 7:59 AM, Carol Macdonald <carolmacdon@gmail.com
> >
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >> > Hi Ageliki
> >> >
> >> > There was an approach called DISTAR - Direct Instruction Systems for
> the
> >> > Teaching of Arithmetic and Reading.  Their claim - 70's and 80's was
> >> that
> >> > this was the best way to teach working class children. But this was
> >> formal
> >> > instruction at K-6 or so. I cannot think that this could be moved
> >> > downwards. You can see examples on YouTube, noticing just what the
> >> > materials look like.
> >> >
> >> > Preschool children are building up repertoires of vocabulary and so
> on,
> >> and
> >> > this could hardly be done in a formal way. Reading stories and
> >> information
> >> > books would be done in Shared Reading formats.  That's the best I can
> >> do,
> >> > but I look forward to other views.
> >> >
> >> > Bereiter..
> >> >
> >> > Carol
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > On 16 August 2014 16:11, Ageliki Nicolopoulou <agn3@lehigh.edu>
> wrote:
> >> >
> >> > > Dear XMCA community,
> >> > >
> >> > > I'm looking for a piece of information, and I wonder whether someone
> >> on
> >> > the
> >> > > XMCA list has it at their fingertips.
> >> > >
> >> > > I'm writing something that deals with Vivian Paley's storytelling
> and
> >> > > story-acting practice. Among other things, that activity is an
> >> example of
> >> > > child-centered, play-based, and constructivist approaches to early
> >> child
> >> > > education--the kinds of approaches that have been getting squeezed
> >> out by
> >> > > preschool practices that exclusively emphasize teacher-centered,
> >> didactic
> >> > > transmission of specific academic skills by direct instruction.
> >> > >
> >> > > A lot of people think that pushing down didacted/academic teaching
> >> > > practices into preschool education is a good thing in general.
> >> However,
> >> > > there are some people who might be willing to concede that more
> >> > > child-centered, play-based, and constructivist might be OK for young
> >> > > children from educated middle class families ... but that they won't
> >> work
> >> > > for poor and otherwise disadvantaged children. THOSE kids need
> direct
> >> > > instruction to transmit "basic skills", and giving them anything
> else
> >> is,
> >> > > at best, a distraction from giving them what they need for school
> >> > > readiness.
> >> > >
> >> > > My problem is this.  As we all know, a lot of people think that, and
> >> they
> >> > > say it in conversation, and they make written arguments that rest
> >> > > implicitly on that premise. In fact, this outlook is very widespread
> >> and
> >> > > influential. But I've found that very few of them seem to be willing
> >> to
> >> > > actually SAY it explicitly in their published work. I'm talking
> about
> >> > > academics and policymakers. There are pro-direct-instruction
> websites
> >> > that
> >> > > say it pretty straightforwardly. But journals want academic
> citations
> >> in
> >> > > articles, so I'm trying to find one.
> >> > >
> >> > > *So does anyone out there know of any published work where someone
> >> > actually
> >> > > SAYS that in writing?  That is, that more child-oriented,
> play-based,
> >> and
> >> > > constructivist preschool practices (however they actually describe
> >> them)
> >> > > might be OK for young children from educated middle-class homes, but
> >> are
> >> > > useless or even harmful for poor and disadvantaged kids, who need
> more
> >> > > teacher-centered, skill-based direct instruction?*
> >> > >
> >> > > I figured it couldn't hurt to ask.
> >> > >
> >> > > Thanks,
> >> > > Ageliki Nicolopoulou
> >> > >
> >> > > ________________
> >> > > Ageliki Nicolopoulou
> >> > > Professor of Psychology & Global Studies
> >> > > Personal Webpage:
> >> http://lehigh.academia.edu/AgelikiNicolopoulou/About
> >> > > Departmental Webpage:
> >> http://cas.lehigh.edu/CASWeb/default.aspx?id=1430
> >> > >
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > --
> >> > Carol A  Macdonald Ph D (Edin)
> >> > Developmental psycholinguist
> >> > Academic, Researcher,  and Editor
> >> > Honorary Research Fellow: Department of Linguistics, Unisa
> >> >
> >>
> >
> >
>