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[Xmca-l] Re: What is a Pedagogy of the Oppressors?



Message from Francine:

Larry et al

Regarding the development of prefrontal 'executive' functions,
all the things you mention warrant consideration.

The best resource I have found is Joaquin Furster's book 
The Prefrontal Cortex (Academic Press 2009).
I will read through it to see how neuroscience research 
can inform our discussion. And I just now ordered another book
The Neurobiology of the Prefrontal Cortex by Passingham and Wise
(Oxford University Press 2014).

Neuroscientists continue to refer to the prefrontal cortex as if it was
one area of the brain, when in fact there is a left and a right prefrontal
cortex (thus prefrontal cortices). I will bet that the issues you are raising 
have a lot to do with the executive functioning of the right prefrontal cortex. 
The left prefrontal would surely provide verbal guidance of behavior, emotions, 
and thought processes (because the speech center is usually in the left).
[Note: left and right prefrontal cortices do not communicate directly
with each other]. My guess is that the right hemisphere regulates the seemingly 
automated behavior when you are driving a car, while you are talking to someone 
(or talking to yourself). 



> Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2015 21:44:51 -0800
> From: lpscholar2@gmail.com
> To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: What is a Pedagogy of the Oppressors?
> 
> Francine,
> 
> I would like to have you expand on your comment:
> 
> >From a Vygotsky-Luria perspective the development of the prefrontal
> cortical connections
> with the rest of the brain is the result of the internalization of the
> verbal guidance
> of a more knowledgeable person.
> I am not questioning the notion of internalization of *guidance* of more
> knowledgeable persons.
> My question is not questioning the major influence of *verbal guidance*
> My question concerns your use of *is* verbal guidance as possibly
> bracketing out other means of guidance that may have been critical to the
> development of the prefrontal cortex.
> In other words other communicational forms of guidance. For example
> processes such as *gestural guidance* which becomes internalized that is
> prelinguistic.
> My question relates to the exploration of theories of *felt structures* of
> intersubjective social phenomena.
> Developmentally the extension of this *gestural guidance* through verbal
> thinking was a central increase in prefrontal cortex development, but I
> wonder if the human capacity for *sound* gestures as *guidance* that become
> internalized is also a central phenomena.
> 
> The kind of work Rod Parker is re-searching and scholars such as Daniel
> Stern. Recognizing that verbal thought is the most complex and
> transformative human phenomena that moves inward and becomes internalized
> as self regulation. However,  I wonder if the growth of the  pre-frontal
> cortex is also implicated in  other levels of *social intersubjective
> guidance* which also become internalized as "felt structures" that are
> preconceptual social phenomena.  The notion that *verbal thinking* is the
> most highly developed and very complex type of gesturing which becomes
> internalized along with other modes of gesturing guidance which also become
> internalized.
> 
> Do Vygotsky and Luria hypothesize that it is the specific
> developmental moment of interweaving when thinking becomes verbal that
> leads to an explosion of the prefrontal cortex. I wonder if this moment is
> an extension of a more primary *gestural guidance* that Vygotsky explores
> in chapter 4 on the genetic roots of verbal thought.
> 
>  Vygotsky mentioned in chapter 4 that *verbal thought* is *circumscribed*
> and therefore  I wonder if thinking [that is not verbal] AND communicating
> [which is not conceptual] also play some formative role as other social
> multi-modal functions which also resulted in precortical development. Yes
> social communication phenomena, but not bracketing *verbal thinking* as the
> only internalized process of self-regulation
> 
> I hope I am asking a clear question?  I recognize this line of
> questioning may need to move to another thread.
> 
> Thanks Francine for the opportunity to chat
> Larry
> 
> Larry
> 
> 
> 
> On Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 7:10 PM, larry smolucha <lsmolucha@hotmail.com>
> wrote:
> 
> > Message from Francine:
> >
> > Annalisa et al,
> >
> > In regard to the development of the prefrontal cortex:
> >       This is an important area of research in contemporary neuroscience
> > that
> > arose directly out of Vygotsky and Luria's collaboration (especially, from
> > the last
> > two years of Vygotsky's life when both he and Luria were attending medical
> > school).
> > >From a Vygotsky-Luria perspective the development of the prefrontal
> > cortical connections
> > with the rest of the brain is the result of the internalization of the
> > verbal guidance
> > of a more knowledgeable person. For social or neurological reasons this
> > might
> > not occur. Also, chemical agents (such as drinking and smoking pot) as a
> > preteen
> > or teen can interfere in the last critical stages of prefrontal
> > development.
> > Without internal self-guidance, one needs the guidance of another person
> > or a group
> > (hopefully that other person or group is a good influence).
> >
> > In regard, to my speaking "from the outside" that certainly is true.
> > Many XMCARs know that I am not an advocate of Leontiev's Activity Theory or
> > of CHAT. But I am an advocate of Vygotskian theory and Luria's
> > neuroscience.
> > So we share an interest in Vygotsky's writings.
> >
> > Also, I am not a person of color. Politically, I am an independent -not a
> > liberal,
> > not a conservative. I admire people like Christopher Hitchens who could
> > think
> > for themselves and called things as they saw it.
> >
> > I can empathize with the oppressed because of my own background and that
> > of my
> > people. Poland did not exist for 150 years. My great-grandmother ran an
> > underground schoolhouse where she taught children how to read and write
> > Polish under the Czarist
> > threat of being shot for doing so. [Ironically, I translate Russian into
> > English.] My parents grew up in a ghetto in Chicago during the Great
> > Depression where they usually had no food to eat. My Dad had the 'white
> > man's privilege' of doing four beach heads in the Pacific during WWII.
> > While on Okinawa he received a letter from my mom trying to raise his
> > spirits by telling him
> > that his parents would have heat during the winter because they took wood
> > planks from
> > a condemned building during the night to burn in their wood stove
> > (scavenging was against
> > the law). After the war my dad was a factory worker, when I was 13 he died
> > from a
> > bad aortic heart valve (rheumatic fever when he was 7 - he should never
> > have
> > been drafted). My parents never attended high school - I worked my way to
> > a Ph.D.
> > from the University of Chicago. No one told me to learn Russian or
> > translate Vygotsky,
> > I figured that out myself.
> >
> > I know my opinions are not in line with a lot of the 'group think' that
> > goes on
> > among some XMCARs. But one of my former students is an XMCAR who has never
> > posted on a thread, so I figure there are other XMCARs reading our threads
> > who
> > might appreciate some alternate perspectives.
> >
> > Also Annalisa, I  really appreciate the way you give serious consideration
> > to my
> > comments. And I think you deserve a lot of credit for these threads moving
> > forward
> > into new emerging perspectives.
> >
> >
> >
> > > From: annalisa@unm.edu
> > > To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > > Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2015 00:04:00 +0000
> > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: What is a Pedagogy of the Oppressors?
> > >
> > > Hi Francine,
> > >
> > > I don't think I disagree with you.
> > >
> > > Certainly there are biological reasons involved as well, but is the lack
> > of prefrontal cortical activity a cause of or is it an effect of oppression?
> > >
> > > Aren't we looking at the genesis of oppression? or more specifically how
> > oppression is taught? The pedagogy? The ethical reasons are always clear
> > that we do not want it.
> > >
> > > I believe the way you speak about it is "from the outside." I am saying
> > that from a place of care, not of criticism.
> > >
> > > Speaking "from the outside" makes it hard to understand what is
> > happening in the minds of those "from the inside," and reminds me of
> > telling a pregnant teen she should have used birth control or abstinence.
> > >
> > > I don't mean to be antagonistic by saying that.
> > >
> > > Without legitimizing the acts of oppressors, we must understand how they
> > are taught, right? It is for me an examination of their subjectivity. What
> > is it like for them? Why do they want to oppress? What is their motivation?
> > What are their feeling lives like? Why do they believe oppression is the
> > only option?
> > >
> > > Otherwise, there is no answer as to the "why" that "individuals"
> > surrender their self-responsbility to the "group."
> > >
> > > It may be difficult to empathize with the other, but I don't know any
> > other way to face the problem.
> > >
> > > Kind regards,
> > >
> > > Annalisa
> > >
> >
> >