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[Xmca-l] Re: Sociocritical Literacies and more context



Hi Helena,

I worry about this divide between psychological and social in education.  Collective views of education can be at least as dangerous as collective education.  In some sense it seems to me (right now) that one of the goals in education should be in giving individuals the capabilities to critically look at the collective and wonder why they are accepting it, why they are apart of it.  I do think treating the individual simply as an information processing machine is dangerous as well - but the education of the oppressor is at its core an education of the collective, it is just a collective that benefits the individual.  Last year I was thinking a lot about the beginnings of critical theory in Germany coinciding with the rise of the Nazis by Fromm and Adorno, later joined by Horkheimer.  Their stance was confusion and despair at why so many workers were going against their own interests and buying into the collective of nationalistic belief systems (why they are so quick to join with the collective).  I know he is not much talked about these days but Freud wondered the same thing.  Thomas Frank has asked the same thing recently in the U.S. with his book "What's the matter with Kansas.  Freire cites the work of Adorno and Fromm a good deal in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, making the argument that the reason people make these choice that seem so apparently against their own benefit is because of the way we are educated.  We are educated to take our place in the collective.  It's not that this is something we shouldn't do, but something we should think about before we do.

I don't think No Child Left Behind was ever about teaching specific things - it was mostly about teaching them to be good little cogs in the machine and not fight back.

Michael
________________________________________
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] on behalf of Helena Worthen [helenaworthen@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, January 04, 2015 12:47 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Sociocritical Literacies and more context

Greg -

Quickly, since the thread is moving on. I'm arguing that a "Pedagogy of the Oppressor" is what we've got going on throughout our educational system. At the elite heights, students learn how to rule the world; in the depths, the same pedagogy functions as social control.

Here is a quote from Lave's article "teaching, as Learning, in Practice," which was published in MCA vol 3 no 3. The article is drawn from her acceptance speech at AERA when she got the Sylvia Scribner award. She says:

"...theories that conceive of learning as a special universal mental process impoverish and mis-recognize it...Theories that reduce learning to individual mental capacity/activity in the last instance blame marginalized people for being marginal. Common theories of learning begin and end with individual (though these days they often nod at "the social" or "the environment" in between). Such theories are deeply concerned with individual differences, with notions of better and worse, more and less learning, and with comparison of these things across group-of-individuals... the logic that makes success exceptional but nonetheless characterizes lack of success as not normal won't do. A reconsideration of learning as a social, collective, rather than individual, psychological phenomenon offers the only way beyond the current state of affiars that i can envision at the present time."

It sounds to me as if she is thinking of (although this was 1996) both No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. Right? But she was writing just when the trend in that direction was getting going. the Clinton years, when people were intoxicated with the first vast applications of computer technology which would make testing so much easier.

Helena


Helena Worthen
helenaworthen@gmail.com

On Jan 3, 2015, at 12:50 PM, greg.a.thompson@gmail.com wrote:

> Helena,
> I was hoping that others might be able to tell me that this has already been done. Seems like lots of people are in this kind of game but nobody has really talked about it explicitly (as far as I can tell - maybe some whiteness theorists but in a very circumscribed way). and I'm quite certain that no one has deal with it in a sufficiently sophisticated manner to be able to hedge off the kinds of concerns that Francine raises.
> Anyone have any thoughts? Perhaps this should be a different thread?
> And yes, Freire has this on his radar but not nearly explicitly enough to where it could be employed I. Some meaningful way in practice.
> Greg
> Ps, and yes my comment entirely sidesteps definitional issues of who counts as subaltern or not. That is a huge  and mucky issue. But not sure it is worth getting bogged down in it...
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
>> On Jan 3, 2015, at 12:24 PM, Helena Worthen <helenaworthen@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> Greg -- that's a great idea.  I think is has been done, but without a label. Want to nominate an example?
>>
>> Helena
>>
>>
>> Helena Worthen
>> helenaworthen@gmail.com
>>
>>> On Jan 3, 2015, at 8:21 AM, Greg Thompson wrote:
>>>
>>> Seems to me that Spivak's "Can the subaltern speak?" is just as much a
>>> question of "Can the Western intellectual hear/listen?"
>>>
>>> Makes me wonder about articulating a Pedagogy of the Oppressors.
>>>
>>> -greg
>>>
>>>> On Thu, Jan 1, 2015 at 7:58 AM, Aria Razfar <arazfar@uic.edu> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Miguel/Mike,
>>>>
>>>> I think we have a testimonio here. We have questions borne out of a
>>>> traumatic historical and social episode (WWII), followed by a movement
>>>> outward "going East," only to discover one's self "Dewey." The self becomes
>>>> an allegory for the whole. It may seem that Spivak is saying translation is
>>>> impossible, but I think a testimonio shows the possibility of translation.
>>>> Thanks for this gift and happy new year!
>>>>
>>>> Aria
>>>>
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
>>>> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of mike cole
>>>> Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2014 2:23 PM
>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Sociocritical Literacies and more context
>>>>
>>>> I inherited such questions as part of my family history and my coming to
>>>> age during the period of post world war II decolonization, Aria, well
>>>> before I travelled East, as you suggest. Interestingly, it was in going in
>>>> East that I discovered Dewey.... such was the form of education that led to
>>>> my phd.
>>>>
>>>> Concerning misleading translations.
>>>> I have PLENTY of problems with issues of translating Vygotsky, in words
>>>> and in practice! Ask any Russian or scholar whose knowledge of Russian was
>>>> acquired after the age of 20! (Plenty right here on xmca, one I can see
>>>> logged into gmail right now). There is a piece in MCA a while back on the
>>>> perils of translating a key term involving eaching/learning/instruction
>>>> that is part of an ongoing set of questions about the meaning of the term,
>>>> zone of proximal development.
>>>>
>>>> Peter's note with the distinction between decolonial/postcolonial seems to
>>>> pick up on some of the themes that various folks who participated in the
>>>> Migrant program are making.  Gotta check out wikipedia on third spaces. The
>>>> metaphor sure has a lot of homes in a lot of discourse communities and I
>>>> suspect that some translation will be needed!
>>>>
>>>> mike
>>>>
>>>>> On Wed, Dec 31, 2014 at 11:49 AM, Aria Razfar <arazfar@uic.edu> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Mike, would you say that you have been seeking answers to these
>>>>> questions by "going East"? I think Spivak would agree with the second
>>>>> question. In "Translating into English" she talks about how
>>>>> "generations of empiricist English translators have missed the point
>>>>> with Marx's philosophical presuppositions, translated 'inhaltslos' as
>>>>> 'slight in content' and thus made nonsense out of the entire
>>>>> discussion of value. You may have had a smiliar experience translating
>>>> Vygotsky.
>>>>>
>>>>> Here it is:
>>>>>
>>>>> http://przeklad.nazwa.pl/schowek/spivak2.pdf
>>>>>
>>>>> Aria
>>>>>
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
>>>>> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of mike cole
>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2014 1:07 PM
>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Sociocritical Literacies and more context
>>>>>
>>>>> Aria--- I had not read the Spivak article, although the question she
>>>>> asks is one I have been asking myself for half a century. And, I would
>>>>> add, under what conditions?
>>>>>
>>>>> I found the article here in case others share my ignorance.
>>>>> mike
>>>>>
>>>>> http://www.mcgill.ca/files/crclaw-discourse/Can_the_subaltern_speak.pd
>>>>> f
>>>>>
>>>>>> On Wed, Dec 31, 2014 at 10:31 AM, Aria Razfar <arazfar@uic.edu> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Larry,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> The specific stance that is amplified by the intersections of "third
>>>>>> space" post-colonial theory, sociocultural theory, and "testimonio"
>>>>>> is somewhat apparent in the language choice. There is no English
>>>>>> equivalent because there cannot be an English equivalent. At least,
>>>>>> there cannot be an "English-Only" equivalent. It represents a
>>>>>> movement toward an indigenous stance on voice, agency, knowledge,
>>>>>> certainty, validity, language choice, and learning. I say a "movement
>>>> toward"
>>>>>> because Spanish itself carries similar baggage especially within the
>>>>>> Latin American context. This is the rationale for why some use the
>>>>>> Aztec idea of Nepantla instead of "Third Space" (e.g., Rochelle
>>>>>> Guiterrez, Gloria Anzaldua). "Testimonio" further complicates what
>>>>>> it means for "subalterns" to "reclaim voice" through the dominant
>>>> voice.
>>>>>> This is the heart-wrenching question raised by Spivak, "Can the
>>>>>> subaltern speak?" Both the altern and the subaltern need to "step
>>>>>> outside" the inscribed institutional roles, together in order to
>>>>>> move "to the roots of our being human together." Spivak was
>>>>>> specfically critiqueing "the Western intellectual" voice wondering
>>>>>> if it truly could be a tool of liberation. It seems like a "core"
>>>>>> identity question as we move through various historical
>>>>>> entanglements seeking answers to ontological questions of self in
>>>>>> relation to other. Also
>>>>> looking forward to this type of re-search.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Aria
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Aria Razfar, Ph.D.
>>>>>> Associate Professor of Literacy, Language, and Culture Director of
>>>>>> Graduate Studies, Curriculum and Instruction University of Illinois
>>>>>> at Chicago
>>>>>> 1040 W. Harrison St. M/C 147
>>>>>> Chicago, IL, 60607
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Director of English Learning through Mathematics, Science and Action
>>>>>> Research (ELMSA) www.elmsa.org
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Webpage: http://education.uic.edu/personnel/faculty/aria-razfar-phd
>>>>>> Tel: 312-413-8373
>>>>>> Fax: 312-996-8134
>>>>>>
>>>>>> This is the heart-wrenching question raised by Spivak, "Can the
>>>>>> subaltern speak?" Both the altern and the subaltern need to "step
>>>>>> outside" the inscribed roles, together in order to move "to the
>>>>>> roots of our being human together." It seems like a "core" identity
>>>>>> question as we move through various historical entanglements seeking
>>>>>> answers to ontological questions of self in relation to other. Also
>>>>>> looking forward to this type of re-search.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Aria
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces+arazfar=uic.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
>>>>>> xmca-l-bounces+arazfar=uic.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Larry
>>>>>> xmca-l-bounces+Purss
>>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2014 10:08 PM
>>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Sociocritical Literacies and more context
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Aria,
>>>>>> I want to repeat and amplify your suggestion :
>>>>>>
>>>>>> It is important to clarify what is meant by "third space" and its
>>>>>> analogous concepts in various schools of thought (e.g., liminality,
>>>>>> double consciousness, third place, etc.). The post-colonial uptake
>>>>>> of third space (e.g., Said, Bhaba, Spivak) within the sociocultural
>>>>>> theory is a very specific stance and this might be the moment for
>>>>>> that
>>>>> conversation as well.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> To focus on the *third space* as a VERY SPECIFIC stance.
>>>>>> I would like to become clear on the centrality of *witnessing* as
>>>>>> central or the re-search fades away.
>>>>>> Also terms such as *mutuality* contrasted with *reciprocity* or
>>>>>> *transactions*.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Testimonios as neither subjective [alone] or objective [alone] but a
>>>>>> hybrid MODE that is a form of witnessing.
>>>>>> I would also suggest the theme of *gift* as more than transaction or
>>>>>> echange [in continental philosophy traditions] is relevant.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> There is a *spirit* and a moral virtue within this form of
>>>>>> witnessing as *third space* that plays around with notions of
>>>>>> *trans* as moving across forms [horizons] as trans-versals [or
>>>> trans-verse-als] .
>>>>>> I have an intuition that this type of witnessing is radical, going
>>>>>> to the roots of our being human together.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Aria, I look forward to further re-search Larry
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> On Tue, Dec 30, 2014 at 12:00 PM, Aria Razfar <arazfar@uic.edu> wrote:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> For those of us working with Kris' sociocritical perspective,
>>>>>>> third space has been a valuable construct for thinking about
>>>>>>> collective learning zopeds and consciousness for that matter. It
>>>>>>> is important to clarify what is meant by "third space" and its
>>>>>>> analogous concepts in various schools of thought (e.g.,
>>>>>>> liminality, double consciousness, third place, etc.). The
>>>>>>> post-colonial uptake of third space (e.g., Said, Bhaba, Spivak)
>>>>>>> within the sociocultural theory is a very specific stance and this
>>>>>>> might be the moment for that conversation as
>>>>>> well.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Aria
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Aria Razfar, Ph.D.
>>>>>>> Associate Professor of Literacy, Language, and Culture Director of
>>>>>>> Graduate Studies, Curriculum and Instruction University of
>>>>>>> Illinois at Chicago
>>>>>>> 1040 W. Harrison St. M/C 147
>>>>>>> Chicago, IL, 60607
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Director of English Learning through Mathematics, Science and
>>>>>>> Action Research (ELMSA) www.elmsa.org
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Webpage:
>>>>>>> http://education.uic.edu/personnel/faculty/aria-razfar-phd
>>>>>>> Tel: 312-413-8373
>>>>>>> Fax: 312-996-8134
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>>> [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Kris
>>>>>>> Gutierrez
>>>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2014 2:56 PM
>>>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Sociocritical Literacies and more context
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Annalisa, Manuel initiated the last uptake. (I think others have
>>>>>>> clarified that now :)
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Mike C., Miguel Zavala, Larry Purss and I posted some thoughts
>>>>>>> before the holidays.  For me it is useful to connect Manuel’s
>>>>>>> recent post to those earlier thoughts/conversations.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Some very quick very unedited thoughts following up on Manuel’s post:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Michael G., Mike C. correctly points out that the
>>>>>>> testimonios/autobiographies were not research techniques but
>>>>>>> generative tools that were indeed a part of the interconnected set
>>>>>>> of practices that created a collective zoped—a third space if you
>>>> will.
>>>>>>> I try to elaborate this idea in the Scribner Lecture piece
>>>>>>> (sociocritical literacies).  My own work on Third Space, the
>>>>>>> collective work of the instructional team of MSI, ongoing
>>>>>>> conversations with Mike C. and Yrjo over the years at the lab, and
>>>>>>> their work certainly informed this idea of a collective zoped,
>>>>>>> collective third space  (See Engeström, 1987, 1994 in particular;
>>>>>>> Nicolopoulou & Cole, 1993; Tuomi-Gröhn & Engeström, 2003; Tuomi-
>>>>>>> Gröhn, Engeström, & Young, 2003; Chaiklin, 2003, Moll, 1990; Moll
>>>>>>> & Greenberg, 1990 as key examples that certainly inform this work
>>>>>>> as
>>>>> well.
>>>>>> And LSV and Bakhtin are ever present).
>>>>>>> These, I think, are useful references, all cited in the article.
>>>>>>> Shirin Vossoughi’s recent MCA piece also is very relevant to this
>>>>>> discussion.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Some relevant excerpts from the sociocritical article,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> "To illustrate these points and their relation to a collective
>>>>>>> Third Space, let us examine the MSLI more closely.
>>>>>>> The activity system, the MSLI, has a specific internal logic
>>>>>>> organized around expanding the students’ sociohistorical and
>>>>>>> educational ecology through the collective imagining of a new
>>>>>>> educational and sociopolitical future.
>>>>>>> To avoid the “interactional reductionism implicit in much
>>>>>>> Vygotskian-inspired research” (Nicolopoulou & Cole, 1993, p. 284),
>>>>>>> the specific interactions and practices of the MSLI are understood
>>>>>>> as what Nicolopoulou and Cole call a “genuinely collective reality”
>>>>> (p. 284).
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Here we see the [Migrant] institute as an example of the Third
>>>>>>> Space, a collective zo-ped, at the larger level of activity the
>>>>>>> object of which is the sociohistorical reconstruction of what it
>>>>>>> means to be a migrant student.
>>>>>>> This movement involves a process of becoming conscious “historical
>>>>>> actors”
>>>>>>> (Espinoza, 2003) who invoke the past in order to re-mediate it so
>>>>>>> that it becomes a resource for current and future action (p. 154)."
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Testimonios and their embodiment in Teatro del Oprimido (Boal’s
>>>>>>> Theatre of the Oppressed that Manuel introduced to us and the
>>>>>>> program and that he and Vossoughi elaborated) were key means of
>>>>>>> developing/inciting a new social and pedagogical imagination and
>>>>>>> for imagining new futures with/for the migrant students, their
>>>>>>> communities, and indeed for all of us, as Manuel so thoughtfully
>>>>>>> writes. Teatro served as a collective problem-solving space—a
>>>>>>> space where the playful imagination helped to make inequities and
>>>>>>> the roots of social problems visible, while providing an
>>>>>>> opportunity to re-frame events, re-mediate and enact an imagined
>>>>>>> future collectively (such as flying collectively/social dreaming).
>>>>>>> I hope Manuel and Shirin jump in and elaborate these thoughts.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Re: Research design:  For me, Migrant was in Yrjo and Mike's
>>>>>>> approach, a formative experiment; what I term social design
>>>>>>> experiments—a designed based research approach that foregrounds
>>>>>>> equity, diversity, historicity, and re-mediation, for example. As
>>>>>>> Susan Jurow and I wrote and presented at the ICLS conference this
>>>>>>> summer (a piece that we expect will be part of a larger set of
>>>>>>> papers with Mike C., Yrjo and Annalisa, and Bill Penuel), social
>>>>>>> design experiments: aim to make possible a sustainable and
>>>>>>> dignified life for all humans; address the challenges of
>>>>>>> leveraging cultural diversity and reducing social inequality; and
>>>>>>> call for the co-design of new tools and futures with members of
>>>>>>> non-dominant communities, as but a few key design principles.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>   Absolutely, research as re-searching—searching for the answer
>>>>>>> to a question you have searched for repeatedly without success!
>>>>>>> Well said, Miguel Cole! Thanks, for your thoughts, Michael Glassman!
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>   more on sociocritical literacies, later.   kris
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Kris Gutierrez
>>>>>>> gutierkd@gmail.com
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Kris D. Gutiérrez
>>>>>>> Professor
>>>>>>> Graduate School of Education
>>>>>>> 5629 Tolman Hall #1670
>>>>>>> University of California, Berkeley Berkeley CA 94720-1670
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Distinguished Professor
>>>>>>> Learning Sciences and Literacy
>>>>>>> School of Education
>>>>>>> University of Colorado, Boulder
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On Dec 30, 2014, at 9:50 AM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Hello!
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Sorry for being silly here, but I couldn't help but see that so
>>>>>>>> far on
>>>>>>> this thread, there have been appearances by:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> mike, Annalisa, Michael, Luisa, and Miguel!
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> --
>>>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science as an
>>>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science as an
>>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
>>> Assistant Professor
>>> Department of Anthropology
>>> 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
>>> Brigham Young University
>>> Provo, UT 84602
>>> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
>>
>>
>