[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: Understanding "functions" within the "zone" of proximal development



Message from Francine:

Mike,

While it would be interesting to read Luria's writings on functional
systems, his formulations have been greatly enhanced by contemporary 
neuroscience's use of the fMRI for brain imaging. I will look for something
by a contemporary neurologist, as well.

If my memory is correct, the first draft of the chapter that Larry Smolucha and I 
are writing for the 2nd edition of Vygotsky and Creativity is due March 15th.
We will write the section on neuropsychological systems now and I will look
for a reference that XMCARs would be able to access now. 


> From: mcole@ucsd.edu
> Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 11:48:49 -0800
> To: haydizulfei@rocketmail.com; xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Understanding "functions" within the "zone" of proximal development
> 
> I am way behind on this discussion and will not try to join it yet. But my
> first step is to go back and read Luria on functional systems. This should
> be your specialty, Francine. Do you have a summary chapter of some sort we
> might read? Another great entry point is "Man with a Shattered World" that
> has, in addition to Luria's own account, a set of mini-lectures by a brain
> scientists who worked with Luria.  That is, if this discussion is ongoing.
> mike
> 
> On Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 8:07 AM, Haydi Zulfei <haydizulfei@rocketmail.com>
> wrote:
> 
> > Hi Francine !
> > This is all brilliant , fantastic but just expressing the dominant
> > province of Vygotsky's work the way I think which might be wrong . That
> > dominant province is "word' and broader conceptions of "word" .
> > Think of this please :
> > "The experiment with the pictures indicates that a child of three sees
> > separate objects and an older child thinks of the world as a system of
> > effects. It develops that if one and the same picture (let us say, the
> > prisoner in jail) is  shown to  a three-year-old, he will say, "a man,
> > another man, a window, a mug, a bench," but for a preschool child it would
> > be: '~ man is  sitting, another is  looking out the window and a mug is  on
> > the bench," We know that the opposite is  true: both the three-year-old and
> > the very young child resolve all the separate objects according to their
> > functions, that is, they determine them through [actions]. For the child,
> > it is [actions] that are primary. When we try to find the first, primary
> > word, then we find that this is the name of an [action] and not an object;
> > the child names a word that signifies an [action], then a word that
> > signifies an object."
> >
> > "Summarizing the data, we come to this conclusion: a fatal contradiction
> > has arisen between the development of thinking as presented by the story
> > with the picture and everything that we know about the development of
> > thinking from life. In both cases, the relations seem to be inverted. It is
> > curious that all of these notions can be confirmed by experiments and
> > facts. We can take a thousand children and show yet again that this is the
> > case  with the picture. It is an incontrovertible fact, but it must be
> > interpreted differently."
> >
> > "Let us conduct an experiment because only experiments can give a
> > definitive answer. There are several simple ways to do this that seem to me
> > to be extremely clever. We will try to exclude the child's speech and we
> > will try to get responses to the picture by some other means and not
> > through words. If the proposition is true that the child does not think of
> > the world as separate things but can say only separate words and cannot
> > form their connections, then we will try to get along without words. We
> > will ask two  children not to tell a story, but to perform what the picture
> > shows. It develops that the children's play about the picture
> > sometimes lasts 20 or 30 minutes, and primarily and most of all in  the
> > play, those relations are captured that are in the picture. To put it more
> > simply, if the child is  asked to dramatize the picture and not to tell its
> > story, then, according to the experiments of Stern, the four- or
> > five-year-old child dramatizes the prison picture the way a twelve-year-old
> > tells it. The child understands very well that the people are in jail: here
> > the complex narration about how the people were caught, how they
> > were taken, that one looks out the window, and that he wants to be free is
> > added. Here a very complex narration is  added about how the nanny was
> > fined for not having a ticket on the trolley. In a word, we get a typical
> > portrayal of what we see in the story of the twelve-year-old."
> >
> > The one screen rule has been breaking down many times by the initiators
> > themselves . However , I end this portion here .
> >       From: larry smolucha <lsmolucha@hotmail.com>
> >  To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> >  Sent: Wednesday, 25 February 2015, 10:27:05
> >  Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Understanding "functions" within the "zone" of
> > proximal development
> >
> > Message from Francine"
> >
> >  Hi Larry,
> >
> > Yes, I agree there is an way in which my perspective and Chaiklin's can
> > be intertwined. First, my reading of Vygotsky is that higher functions are
> > consciously directed, unlike elementary functions which are spontaneous.
> > For Vygotsky all functions first exist (in animals, and in infants and
> > preschoolers)
> > as spontaneous processes of attention, perception, emotion, imagination,
> > and
> > realistic thinking. Through the process of the internalization of the
> > verbal guidance
> > of a more knowledgeable person, these functions become consciously directed
> > attention, perception, emotions, imagination, and realistic thinking
> > (i.e., become
> > higher functions).
> >
> > But, there is also a training in cultural traditions of thinking (what
> > Chaiklin calls
> > functions) - in particular, realistic thinking can develop into several
> > disciplines
> > of logical/ analytical thinking such as Aristotelian logic, dialectical
> > thinking,
> > mathematics, and thinking in scientific concepts. An interesting question
> > arises:
> > Can someone think in scientific concepts but not be able to consciously
> > direct
> > their own thinking in scientific concepts? Such a person would have
> > acquired
> > higher level thinking in Chaiklin's use of the term but not in Vygotsky's
> > use of
> > the term 'higher functions'. Such a person would lack metacogntive
> > awareness
> > of how their own thought processes proceed. This would be a high level
> > practitioner in a form of disciplinary thinking, who just robotically
> > follows a
> > procedural way of thinking. I think there are people like that.
> >
> > A second point to keep in mind, is that Vygotsky used the term higher
> > psychological
> > functions rather than higher mental functions. For the most part, the
> > terms can be
> > used inter-changeably. Higher psychological function is more appropriate
> > when
> > discussing consciously directed emotions. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is
> > a practical application of Vygotsky and Luria's writings (by Donald
> > Meichenbaum), that uses
> > the verbal guidance of the therapist as a model for the client's self-talk
> > to help the
> > client control their own emotions and moods. Also, Vygotsky did say that
> > different
> > higher psychological functions can function together as psychological
> > systems.
> >
> > I will look more closely at Gadamer's writings. If reciprocal interaction
> > means
> > that the cultural traditions are both internalized and changed by the
> > individual -
> > I agree. The latter part is the central point in my understanding of
> > Vygotsky's theory of creativity. Through both internal dialogues
> > (dialectics) and external conversations
> > new ideas, art forms, inventions,emerge.
> >
> > Oh, one more point my understanding of the research on collaborative
> > learning is that
> > it is most effective when someone in the peer group knows something more
> > than
> > the others. That something more moves the group into the zone of proximal
> > development. Peers might be at the same level in many areas, but as
> > individuals
> > they might have higher level skills that they can help the others acquire.
> > For, example
> > if a group is working on an original story, someone might be good at
> > metaphorical
> > thinking but not the best in grammar and spelling. Other people might be
> > very good at grammar and/or spelling.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > > Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2015 07:54:25 -0800
> > > From: lpscholar2@gmail.com
> > > To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Understanding "functions" within the "zone" of
> > proximal development
> > >
> > > Francine,
> > > Your answer to my question moves me to return to the notion of
> > "reciprocal
> > > interaction" and my interest in Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics.  Is
> > > it possible that Chaiklin's understanding of "functions" [as expressing
> > > "traditions"] and your elaboration of Vygotsky's "functions" such as
> > > "imagination and analytic thinking" are intertwined and that we can
> > imagine
> > > the person " a if" a weaver of tapesties that INCLUDE both understandings
> > > of "functions" [crystallized and open-ended]  The term "reciprocal
> > > interaction" I am approaching as Simmel used this term.  Francine, your
> > > statement:
> > >
> > >  "Vygotsky introduced something very different. The dynamics of
> > consciously
> > > directing
> > > one's own thoughts, emotions, perceptions, and behaviors  allows for
> > > creativity.
> > > Vygotsky also said that consciously directed higher mental functions
> > (such
> > > as imagination
> > > and analytic thinking) can be used in collaboration as psychological
> > > systems"
> > >
> > > I am asking if there is "space" or the possibility of opening a "zone"
> > > where yours and Chaiklin's notions of "function" can mutually and
> > > reciprocally enrich each "other" ?
> > >
> > > I look forward to reading your chapter [and book]
> > >
> > > Larry
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > On Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 11:24 PM, larry smolucha <lsmolucha@hotmail.com>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Message from Francine Smolucha:
> > > >
> > > > Larry,
> > > >
> > > > Seth Chaiklin in redefining Vygotsky's terminology (functions and zone
> > of
> > > > proximal
> > > > development), creates a developmental model that is very static.
> > Vygotsky,
> > > > however,
> > > > is very clear in describing a dynamic model of how elementary
> > > > psychological functions
> > > > develop into consciously directed higher psychological functions
> > through
> > > > the internalization
> > > > of speech. This is very different from Chaiklin defining higher
> > > > psychological (or mental)
> > > > functions as higher level concepts involving more abstract thinking,
> > such
> > > > as scientific
> > > > concepts - this is more like an cultural model of Piagetian concrete
> > and
> > > > formal operational
> > > > thinking.
> > > >
> > > > I think you hit the mark when you said that Chaiklin's developmental
> > model
> > > > produces
> > > > crystallized and sedimented psychological functions that are
> > preordained
> > > > by a particular
> > > > culture. [This is different from Piaget's structuralist theory in which
> > > > reasoning with scientific concepts naturally emerges at certain ages].
> > By
> > > > making the term 'higher' simply refer to
> > > > the higher skill level designated by a particular culture - it all
> > becomes
> > > > culturally relative.
> > > >
> > > > Vygotsky introduced something very different. The dynamics of
> > consciously
> > > > directing
> > > > one's own thoughts, emotions, perceptions, and behaviors  allows for
> > > > creativity.
> > > > Vygotsky also said that consciously directed higher mental functions
> > (such
> > > > as imagination
> > > > and analytic thinking) can be used in collaboration as psychological
> > > > systems.
> > > > This is exactly what contemporary neuroscience has found in its
> > > > brain-imaging
> > > > studies (fMRI) of the prefrontal neocortex.
> > > >
> > > > My husband (Larry Smolucha) and I are writing a chapter titled
> > > > "Neuropsychological
> > > > Systems of Cultural Creativity" for the 2nd edition of Vygotsky and
> > > > Creativity.
> > > > Cathrene, Vera, and Ana suggested to their acquisitions editor that
> > Larry
> > > > and I expand
> > > > that chapter into a book. (So yes indeed, I can cite my sources
> > including
> > > > Vygotsky's
> > > > works in Russian or contemporary neuroscience.)
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > > Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2015 21:08:35 -0800
> > > > > From: lpscholar2@gmail.com
> > > > > To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > > > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Understanding "functions" within the "zone" of
> > > > proximal    development
> > > > >
> > > > > Seth Chaiklin's article has me reflecting on the meaning of
> > "functions".
> > > > >
> > > > > The article's concluding comment is:
> > > > >
> > > > > According to the analysis presented here, the zone of proximal
> > > > development
> > > > > refers to the maturing functions that are relevant to the next age
> > period
> > > > > and that enable performance in collaborative situations that could
> > not be
> > > > > achieved independently.  These *functions* are not created in
> > > > interaction,
> > > > > rather interaction provides conditions for identifying their
> > existence
> > > > and
> > > > > the extent to which they have developed."
> > > > >
> > > > > I read this as indicating that the functions analyzed are
> > "crystallized"
> > > > or
> > > > > "sedimented" forms that "objectively" exist as "generalized"
> > structures.
> > > > > Within "socially situated" settings individual persons will
> > subjectively
> > > > > move through a sequence of predictable "periods".  Within modern
> > social
> > > > > situations "school" is a predictable social situation and it is the
> > goal
> > > > or
> > > > > desire to develop "scientific concepts" in school settings.
> > > > >
> > > > > Therefore functions described as "higher mental functions" exist in
> > > > > particular historical social situations of development, not
> > universally
> > > > > applicable situations. To be more specific "scientific concepts
> > function
> > > > > within school situations of development. As  Chaiklin writes:
> > > > >
> > > > > "It is important to recognize that these periods are not reflecting a
> > > > > biological necessity (because of genetic or other organic sources),
> > even
> > > > > though the development of higher psychological functions (e.g. ,
> > > > > perception, voluntary memory, speech, thinking) are dependent on
> > these
> > > > > natural conditions. .... Similarly, none of the psychological
> > functions
> > > > are
> > > > > 'pure' in the sense of a biologically given module or faculty."
> > [page 7]
> > > > >
> > > > > In other words there exists an "objective" zone [a general zone]
> > which
> > > > > Chaiklin clarifies as a tripartite constellation of "present age",
> > > > > "maturing function", and "next age"  AS "the objective zone of
> > proximal
> > > > > development" [page 7] This zone is objective in the sense that it
> > does
> > > > not
> > > > > refer to any individual child, but reflects [mirrors] the
> > psychological
> > > > > functions that need to be formed during a given age period of
> > development
> > > > > [and in particular the higher scientific or school concepts
> > developed in
> > > > > school situations.]  In order to approach the more abstract concepts
> > > > [which
> > > > > are going "higher"]  psychological functions need to develop first in
> > > > order
> > > > > to move to the next "period" or situation of concept development
> > [verbal
> > > > > thought].
> > > > >
> > > > > Chaiklin then makes a clear statement of the characteristic of this
> > > > > objective zone:
> > > > >
> > > > > "The 'objective' zone is not defined a priori, but reflects the
> > > > structural
> > > > > relationships that are *historically-constructed and objectively
> > > > > constituted* in the historical period in which the child lives. One
> > can
> > > > say
> > > > > that the zone for a given age period is normative, in that it
> > > > > *reflects *[LP-mirrors]
> > > > > the institutionalized demands and expectations that developed
> > > > historically
> > > > > in a particular societal *tradition of practice*.  For example
> > school age
> > > > > children are expected to develop capabilities to reason with academic
> > > > > (i.e., scientific) concepts. Individuals who do not develop this
> > > > > *capability* can be said to *have* [LP - possess] a different
> > > > intellectual
> > > > > structure.... Reasoning with concepts is a specific manifestation of
> > the
> > > > > new-formations for this age ... " [page7]
> > > > >
> > > > > In other words functions which develop are "new" formations which are
> > > > > normative [ "crystallized" or "sedimented"].
> > > > >
> > > > > The question that I am left with is the relation of these normative
> > > > > functions existing within particular social situations of development
> > > > when
> > > > > the social situations that now exist become the object of deep
> > > > questioning?
> > > > > This type of reflection and speculation is entering the realm of
> > "what
> > > > > if".  What if the "objective" zone of proximal development and its
> > "new"
> > > > > formations [crystallized, sedimented] itself becomes the "object" of
> > > > > inquiry?
> > > > >
> > > > > I hope my train of thought is coherent? Chaiklin's article brought
> > > > clarity
> > > > > to my understanding of "functions" as key concepts for understanding
> > the
> > > > > meaning and sense of ZPD.
> > > > >
> > > > > Larry
> > > >
> > > >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> 
> 
> -- 
> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object
> that creates history. Ernst Boesch.