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[Xmca-l] Re: Nate's new webpage on Vygotsky

Isn't it likely that any pre-mediated (immediate) actions which our species once had will now have become mediated by the fact that we act in the knowledge that our actions are seen and evaluated by others? Eating, for example, is a 'natural' action but we may easily become self conscious about being seen to eat (in Japan, I believe it is not unusual for women in particular to cover their mouths with a napkin to preserve their modesty while eating and my grandmother was very sniffy about people eating - or laughing, for that matter - in the street). And is it not conceivable that the behaviour of dogs who live with humans might be mediated by the behaviour of humans? There is plenty of evidence that human reared chimpanzees, parrots and other animals develop ways of relating to the world which are not seen in their wild-reared co-specifics.

I am not sure we do have unmediated actions once we have tasted the fruit of the tree of knowledge and been expelled from the Eden of immediate experience - can anyone tell me where I read an account of a man hailing a taxi and converting the gesture into a showy adjustment of his hat when the taxi drove past (not wanting to give anyone who might be watching the impression that he had failed to hail the cab)?


-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Glassman, Michael
Sent: 13 September 2014 15:59
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Nate's new webpage on Vygotsky

I think I have trouble with this.  Aren't mediated actions something we developed over time to help us in our communications with each other, and organizing those communications?  Doesn't that mean that there must be some human actions that pre-date mediating capabilities.  Did we just completely jettison them?  Or do we just use mediation to claim they don't exist.

I read recently that the reason some dogs are very social and very close to you is at least partly because they are observing you.  They are trying to gauge when you are paying attention and when you are not - so that they become very good at stealing food, but also knowing when you need their warmth.  Having had two very different dogs of the same breed in succession I think I can attest to this.  There is no mediation in the relationship, at least for the dog.  Don't humans have the same thing.  Aren't there humans who can watch somebody closely and see their unmediated actions and determine how they should act in the moment - really good at stealing but also knowing when you need warmth?  Don't we call them politicians?

From: xmca-l-bounces+mglassman=ehe.ohio-state.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces+mglassman=ehe.ohio-state.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu] on behalf of Stone, Lynda [lstone@skymail.csus.edu]
Sent: Saturday, September 13, 2014 10:52 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Nate's new webpage on Vygotsky


how can actions be unmediated if there are "voices of the mind" (i.e., culture)  with us at all times?


On Sep 13, 2014, at 7:40 AM, David H Kirshner wrote:

Aside from physical reflexes, are there any actions that are unmediated?

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu<mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Stone, Lynda
Sent: Saturday, September 13, 2014 9:15 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Nate's new webpage on Vygotsky


That's my view also---but I've found that this metaphor has led folks to think, and I quote, justified "direct instruction" in addition to my students thinking that Vygostky came up with the idea, these are seniors and entering Master students in a child development program so it's their prior instruction---

 Well I guess I added to your "tuppence" a bit--


On Sep 13, 2014, at 4:51 AM, Carol Macdonald wrote:


The zone of proximal development is constructed in mediated activity.

That's my tuppence worth.


On 13 September 2014 11:12, Esther Goody <eg100@hermes.cam.ac.uk<mailto:eg100@hermes.cam.ac.uk>> wrote:

Re scaffolding = zone of proximal development:
Is it?/Are they?

I thought zone of proximal development was in one's head ..............
While scaffolding, a la Brunner, by definition involves at least two people.

[Of course text-actor could be seen as scaffolding. But this leads away from activity. I hope Vygotsky would not have got mired in text-actor stuff ]

I am currently obsessed by the way dialogue - real exchanges between real people - seems to account for aspects of cognition.
So it is important to keep role of actors central.

              Esther Goody

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu<mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> [mailto:
xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Stone, Lynda
Sent: 12 September 2014 23:42
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Nate's new webpage on Vygotsky

Hi All!

I just wanted to share that I use Peg and Mike's paper in all of my cognitive development classes for both undergraduate and graduate students.  It has been extremely helpful---my students, I'm thrilled to say, develop more complex understandings of what the zoped involves.  And when I combine this article with Activity
the leading activity not only makes sense to them but also allows them to see how the intersubjective processes through which knowledge is constructed are influenced by multiple aspects of a context--including motives.  They even change their views about "context" and come to understand it as a dynamic phenomenon--- okay, I share this to say that this article is particularly helpful because by reading it my students see how culture and cognition  (another paper of Mike's) are constructed in the zoped.  These understandings are so different from the scaffolding metaphor and most all of my students have been taught that scaffolding is equivalent to the zoped.

Hope this sharing is useful---


On Sep 10, 2014, at 2:27 PM, mike cole wrote:

The paper Peg and I wrote which takes up scaffolding along with other
metaphors can be found at   http://lchc.ucsd.edu/Mike    current activity
for the future is the title.


On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 11:02 AM, Henry G. Shonerd III <hshonerd@gmail.com<mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com>

I appreciate ALL of the attachments! I worry that I am not Vygotskian enough, and would have thought Marzano was out of the XMCA mainstream. I am reminded of the XMCA conversation on direct instruction a few weeks back wherein Lisa Delpit's Other Peoples Children (1995) is cited as supporting DISTAR, prototypical direct instruction. In the same book, is a chapter on the "Silenced Dialog". I had a fantasy that Delpit could jump right in to the XMCA chat. I am embarrassed to say that I tried to get in touch with her (she was SO nice to me when we met some years ago), but she never responded, maybe for no other reason than that she is super busy doing other things. Maybe she got the message, but didn't want to join one more listserve. But I am wondering what she might have transpired if she joined in. I am thinking distributed cognition (Hutchins) and cognitive pluralism (a term I know from Vera's book, Creative Collaboration). The attachments that Phillip sent seem to find direct instruction complementary with more dialogic approaches to instruction, as per the turn-over principle of Bruner.

On Sep 10, 2014, at 9:58 AM, "White, Phillip" <Phillip.White@ucdenver.edu<mailto:Phillip.White@ucdenver.edu>

like Henry, i find the metaphor 'scaffolding' a useful term, and at the same time i'm also strengthening that metaphor with Brian Cambourne's "conditions for learning" that lead to student engagement, as well as how it relates to student engagement (Marzano), Fisher's "gradual release of responsibility" and Lave & Wenger's "community of practice"  -  in combination these works (along with critical race theory and queer theory, identity theory, Foucault's understanding of power - an impoverished listing here) provide a far richer, more complex understanding of student learning, than "motive" in CHAT.

for me, theory is a mutable impression - much like a calligraphic haiku
- in which theoretical understanding changes over time, context, relationships and experiences (again, an incomplete list).

i hope that there aren't too many attachments here.


Phillip White, PhD
Urban Community Teacher Education Program Site Coordinator Montview Elementary, Aurora, CO phillip.white@ucdenver.edu<mailto:phillip.white@ucdenver.edu>


Development and Evolution are both ... "processes of construction and re- construction in which heterogeneous resources are contingently but more or less reliably reassembled for each life cycle." [Oyama, Griffiths, and Gray, 2001]

Lynda Stone, Ph.D.
Dept. Child Development
CSU Sacramento
CSUS/UC-Links Program Director

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Carol A  Macdonald Ph D (Edin)
Developmental psycholinguist
Academic, Researcher,  and Editor
Honorary Research Fellow: Department of Linguistics, Unisa

Lynda Stone, Ph.D.
Dept. Child Development
CSU Sacramento
CSUS/UC-Links Program Director

Lynda Stone, Ph.D.
Dept. Child Development
CSU Sacramento
CSUS/UC-Links Program Director


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