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[Xmca-l] Re: Crises and stages/ages



After sending the note below I encountered the following definition of
learning in Simon's
*Sciences of the artificial* which I am reading with respect to other
(related) matters.

*Learning is any change in a system that produces a more or less permanent
change in its capacity for adapting to the environment.*

The word, development, does not appear in this book.

Seems relevant to many long standing discussions of learning and
development in this discourse space.

mike


On Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 5:14 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:

> David ---
> Picking on just one thread from your multiplex comments in the context of
> the discussion on printing presses and digital computer
> ​technologies, i would like to thank you for juxtaposing these​ two
> paragraphs, one from LSV on crises in development, the other
> from Leontiev. I have made a separate header because I am not agile or
> learned enough to keep track of both at the same time,
> the ontogenetic level of analysis is plenty enough for me to try to think
> systematically about in a single message..
>
> \Vygotsky, (could you give pages in current English version so we enter
> the relevant portion of the text?):
>
> These ages (i.e. stable ages--DK) and this type of child development have
> been studied more completely than ages characterized by a different course
> of child development (i.e.the crisis--DK). These latter were discovered by
> empirical paths, one by one, in a haphazard manner, and many have still not
> been shown by the majority of investigators in systems and are not included
> in the general periodization of child development. Many authors have even
> doubted the evidence of the inner necessity of their existence. Many are
> inclined to take them more as “maladies” of development, as deviations of
> the process fromthe normal path, than as internally necessary periods of
> child development. Almost none of the bourgeois investigators have realized
> their theoretical signfiicance, and the attempt in our book at their
> systematization, at their theoretical interpretation, and at their
> inclusion in the general scheme of child development for this reason should
> be seen as perhaps the first attempt of this kind."
>
> Compare:
>
>   “These crises—the three year old crisis, the seven year old crisis, the
> adolescent crisis, the youth crisis—are always associated with a change of
> stage. They indicate in clear, obvious form that these changes, these
> transitions from one stage to another have an inner necessity of their
> own. The existence of development of crises has long been known and their
> ‘classic’ interpretation is that they are caused by the child’s maturing
> inner characteristics and the contradictions that arise on that soil
> between it andthe environment. From the standpoint of that interpretation
> the crises are, of course, inevitable, because these contradictions are
> inevitable in any conditions. There is nothing more false, however, in the
> theory of the development of the child’s psyche than this idea. In fact,
> crises are not at all inevitable accomplishments of psychic development. It
> is not the crises which are inevitable, but the turning points or breaks,
> the qualitative shifts in development. The crisis, on the contrary, is
> evidence that a turning point or shift has not been made in time. There
> need by no crises at all if the child’s psychic development does not take
> shape spontaneously but in a rationally controlled process, controlled
> upbringing.”  (pp. 398-399)
>
> Leontiev, A.N. (1981). Problems of the Development of the Mind. Progress:
> Moscow
>
> ​I take the red​ text to be the crux of the argument, and the kind of
> difference we see in the two men's articles
> about the "problem of the environment."
>
> In American developmental psychology the issue of continuities and
> discontinuities in ontogenetic development
> continues today the discussion taking place in the 1920's and 1930's. But
> I have never seen anyone argue that (say) the syndrome
> of behaviors identified as "the terrible twos" occurs because a turning
> point has not happened in time, nor that ontogeny is rendered continuous by
> rational control of parents/society. That, it seems, is the red thread of
> Stalinism that is so offputting in ANL.
>
> I do not love LSV's characterization of non-Soviet psychologists  treating
> such periods "as deviations of the process from the normal path." I am
> not sure who he is referring to, and perhaps he is right and I just need to
> dig deeper into the history of European and American developmental
> psychology. Piaget and Erikson,  two Europeans whose work was influential
> from the 1950/60's don't, at least on the surface, fit this discussion.
> Maybe they do below the surface, or there are other, allied issue to raised.
>
> Several years ago we (you and I and Andy and others) sought to
> characterize LSV's developmental theory but could not reach agreement.
> Perhaps it is worth another try.
>
> mike
>
>
> --
> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
>
>
>


-- 
It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object
that creates history. Ernst Boesch.