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[Xmca-l] Re: good article attached
It is interesting to note that the Cherokee viewed white people as half
baked in the great spirit's creation oven :-).
And...while we are on the topic, it is important to distinguish between
"student centered" and "learner centered" activity in a ZPD.
Vygotsky is very clear on the role of the mentor/teacher’s role to lead in
development even though the goal is the co-construction of knowledge. In
this context it becomes necessary to distinguish between a “student
centered” approaches with a “learner centered” one. In both approaches,
what the student is able to internalize is more important than a “top down”
method which is characterized by a teacher centered delivery of
instruction. But in a learner centered environment, the teacher or mentor
is able to maintain certain parameters within the target subject matter in
an environment of interaction and dialogue that enhances student voice and
*Zone of Proximal Development-*The developmental space between a learner’s
actual and potential levels of, thinking, problem solving, acting and being.
There are many similarities between Vygotsky’s view of learner
centeredness and problem solving/problem posing education and that of the
Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire (1921-1997) and although they obviously
never knew each other they were both influenced similarly by Hegel and
Marx. Joe Kincheloe had this to say about Freire’s approach to teaching.
The parallels to Vygotsky’s views are striking.
By promoting problem posing and student research, teachers do not simply
relinquish their authority in the classroom. Over the last couple of
decades several teachers and students have misunderstood the subtlety of
the nature of teacher authority in a critical pedagogy. Freire in the last
years of his life was very concerned with this issue and its
misinterpretation by those operating in his name. Teachers, he told me,
cannot deny their position of authority in such a classroom. It is the
teacher, not the students, who evaluates student work, who is responsible
for the health, safety, and learning of students. To deny the role of
authority the teacher occupies is insincere at best, dishonest at worst.
Critical teachers, therefore, must admit that they are in a position of
authority and then demonstrate that authority [sic] in their actions in
support of students. One of the actions involves the ability to conduct
research/produce knowledge. The authority of the critical teacher is
*dialectical*; as teachers relinquish the authority of truth providers,
they assume the mature authority of facilitators of student inquiry and
problem posing. In relation to such teacher authority, students gain their
freedom--they gain the ability to become self-directed human beings capable
of producing their own knowledge. (Kincheloe, 2008, p.17)
This notion of the role of the teacher in the ZPD brings us to Vygotsky’s
use of the Russian word for education, *obuchenie *which is translated as
teaching but “is interchangeable for the activity of the teachers and
students. (Wink & Putney, 2003, p.xxiii). This means that Vygotsky viewed
teaching as learning and therefore confirms what we said about the role of
teachers in the progressive classroom. In the mind of Vygotsky, the zone of
proximal development is environment out of which the teacher and the
student co-construct and create knowledge together rather than just moving
in the “top down” approach that Freire calls the “banking model” of
education wherein the teacher makes “deposits” of knowledge into the empty
“account” of the student and draws the information back out on test days in
the exact form and manner in which it was deposited.
On Mon, Feb 9, 2015 at 1:11 PM, Rod Parker-Rees <
> I share your reservations, Michael.
> I'm sure it is possible to trace elements of racist recapitulationist
> thinking in the work of nineteenth and early twentieth century
> educationalists but I don't think it is accurate to suggest that
> recapitulationism was in any way at the heart of the romantic view of
> childhood which fuelled arguments for child-centred pedagogy. As the
> article points out, Rousseau put the 'noble savage' above the
> hyper-civilised white European male of the eighteenth century with his
> powdered wig, elaborate finery and obsessive concern for social niceties.
> The cultural shift from thinking of childhood as a 'savage' stage out of
> which children should be educated as quickly as possible to an exalted,
> prelapsarian state of innocence coincided with a growth of political
> radicalism which challenged the right of those with power to rule over the
> lives of others. The celebration of the 'inner child' by romantic poets at
> the start of the nineteenth century specifically challenged the idea that
> adulthood should supplant and displace childhood (as recapitulationism
> would suggest).
> It may be true that 'progressive' education does not miraculously repair
> the manifold injustice of social structures but to take this as an
> indication that the fault lies with progressive education seems wrongheaded
> to me.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: email@example.com [mailto:
> firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Glassman, Michael
> Sent: 09 February 2015 17:19
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: good article attached
> I don't know Peter. This article strikes me as being very political. It
> fits very much into the narrative that more progressive education
> initiatives work against the interests of (economically, politically, and
> educationally) marginalized groups. That's why we need KIPP type schools.
> I have just never brought into this. I think the article is really not
> that fair to Dewey. Dewey had his warts, including when it came to issues
> such as multiculturalism and he was called out on it. But I think it's
> pretty clear that he did not like Hall at all or his recapitulationist
> ideas - this may be too simplistic but I sort of remember Hall and Dewey
> struggling for the soul of Franz Boas in this arena. Dewey's desire to
> merge psychological factors - which were more behavior related (see reflect
> arc article) and the social I think was the opposite of embracing
> recapitualationism. And the author relies mostly on recollections from the
> school and the teachers and not Dewey.
> Just my take.
> From: email@example.com [firstname.lastname@example.org]
> on behalf of Peter Smagorinsky [email@example.com]
> Sent: Monday, February 09, 2015 11:54 AM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity (firstname.lastname@example.org)
> Cc: cori jakubiak
> Subject: [Xmca-l] good article attached
> The Savage Origins of Child-Centered Pedagogy, 1871-1913 Thomas Fallace
> William Paterson University of New Jersey
> Abstract: Child-centered pedagogy is at the ideological core of
> progressive education. The simple idea that the child rather than the
> teacher or textbook should be the major focus of the classroom is, perhaps,
> the single most enduring educational idea of the era. In this historical
> study, the author argues that childcentered education emerged directly from
> the theory of recapitulation, the idea that the development of the White
> child retraced the history of the human race. The theory of recapitulation
> was pervasive in the fields of anthropology, sociology, and psychology at
> the turn of the 20th century, and so early progressive educators
> uncritically adopted the basic tenets of the theory, which served as a
> major rationale for child-centered instruction. The theory was inherently
> ethnocentric and racist because it pointed to the West as the developmental
> endpoint of history, thereby depicting people of color as ontologically
> less developed than their White counterparts.
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*Robert Lake Ed.D.*Associate Professor
Social Foundations of Education
Dept. of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading
Georgia Southern University
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