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[Xmca-l] Re: Crises and stages/ages
That 'change in social situation' interpretation does crop up quite
frequently. But for me it is inadequate and misleading. Particularly with
phenomena described by the Peter principle.
For me, development as a distinction from the broader notion of learning is
simply the accommodation of genuine generalisations affording greater
reflexivity. This will, by virtue of the qualitative change, result in a
different social situation.
Rote and mere factual learning can theoretically actually lead to less
capacity for adaptation, so Simon may have a particular idea in mind.
Incidentally, I tend to pair that text of Simon's with Vicker's 'Art of
Judgement'. Some good, more indirect, thinking there too.
On 20 March 2015 at 01:47, Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> The distinction I use, Mike, is that in development, not only does a
> person's activity change, but also that of those in their social
> surroundings so that the person occupies a new social position or role.
> Learning is change, without change in your social position. In "Problem of
> Age" Vygotsky formulates this in terms of change from being an "infant" to
> "early childhood" or from "early childhood" to being a "pre-school child,"
> etc. Development is a social relation, involving both characteristics of
> the person and of their environment.
> *Andy Blunden*
> mike cole wrote:
>> 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.
>> On Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 5:14 PM, mike cole <email@example.com> 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
>>> of child development (i.e.the crisis--DK). These latter were discovered
>>> empirical paths, one by one, in a haphazard manner, and many have still
>>> been shown by the majority of investigators in systems and are not
>>> 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
>>> 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
>>> be seen as perhaps the first attempt of this kind."
>>> “These crises—the three year old crisis, the seven year old crisis, the
>>> adolescent crisis, the youth crisis—are always associated with a change
>>> 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
>>> theory of the development of the child’s psyche than this idea. In fact,
>>> crises are not at all inevitable accomplishments of psychic development.
>>> 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:
>>> 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
>>> 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
>>> 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
>>> 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
>>> 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.
>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.