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[Xmca-l] Re: Winn's Exploring the Literate Trajectories of Youth across Time and Space

Well, ed schools are pretty disputatious places, so I'd never say that there's an orthodoxy to follow. I'd agree with your situated perspective, even as the world of ed psych still appears to operate between the ears. There are teachers who import all sorts of interesting possibilities into their classrooms, even with all the oppressive testing and centralized curricula that assume that all kids' minds have the same architecture (that might be the wrong word, since it might come across as static--other terms welcome). 

Hoping for others to weigh in. p

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of mike cole
Sent: Monday, March 30, 2015 5:28 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Winn's Exploring the Literate Trajectories of Youth across Time and Space


At first I didn't get at all what the connection between the discussion of Ilyenkov and Maisha's work, but I think its a great idea to discuss the question you pose. Is "literacy" idealized differently in the two communities of practice (school and outside-school)? I have difficulty keeping straight with ideas such as "subjective image of reality" but there seems to be little doubt that there are different values being embodied in standard school literacy practices and the multi-modal, multi-generational practices in the sites that Maisha describes. Seems like this could be a useful lens for addressing my question about how.when.under-what-conditions the practices and associated values of an evening get together at a community center can be at least part of a high school educational curriculum.

Only sometimes under special conditions seems to be the answer. Is that answer accepted in Ed schools these days?


On Mon, Mar 30, 2015 at 1:08 PM, Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu> wrote:

> OK, I hit send accidentally. To continue:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Smagorinsky
> Sent: Monday, March 30, 2015 4:02 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: RE: [Xmca-l] Re: Winn's Exploring the Literate Trajectories 
> of Youth across Time and Space
> I'm going to do some exploratory thinking here, so please pardon the 
> half-baked nature of what follows (half-baked is a long-time value on 
> xmca in its embrace of thoughts in emergent process).
> Winn's article has gotten little traction as a discussion topic, so 
> I'll combine it with something that's gotten even less attention, an 
> article that someone (Annalisa, I think) sent awhile back and that I'm 
> re-attaching here.
> I'm focusing on the early section about Ilyenkov's notion of the 
> ideal, which I can't say I completely grasp. So please bear with me as 
> I grope my way through this effort to link the two articles. I'll 
> paste in the section of the attachment that I see as potentially, if 
> I'm getting this right, helpful in understanding Winn's essay:
> Although there is a considerable literature in the West that focuses 
> on the rôle of language in the social production of consciousness, 
> what sets Ilyenkov apart is his distinction between language and the 
> ideal. For Ilyenkov, language is not the ideal, but its ‘objectified 
> being’,27 its material form. he ideal does not exist in language for 
> Ilyenkov, or in other material phenomena, but in forms of human 
> activity. His entry on the ideal in the 1962 encyclopædia-article 
> defines it as ‘the subjective image of objective reality, i.e. a 
> reflection of the external world in forms of human activity, in forms 
> of its consciousness and will’.28 One can think of the ideal as the 
> significance that matter assumes in the process of its transformation 
> by human activity. In other words, it is only in-and-through human 
> activity that matter takes on the character of an object with significance.
> To be clear, Ilyenkov was not referring only to parts of the material 
> world that individuals directly transform, but to all matter that 
> society comes ‘in contact’
> with. Idealisation is, for
> him, a social phenomenon. In the same encyclopædia-entry, he wrote:
> An ideal image, say of bread, may arise in the imagination of a hungry 
> man or of a baker. In the head of a satiated man occupied with 
> building a house, ideal bread does not arise. But if we take society 
> as a whole, ideal bread and ideal houses are always in existence, as 
> well as any ideal object with which humanity is concerned in the 
> process of production and reproduction of its real, material life.
> his
> includes the ideal sky, as an object of astronomy, as a ‘natural 
> calendar’, a clock, and compass. In consequence of that, all of nature 
> is idealised in humanity and not just that part which it immediately 
> produces or reproduces or consumes in a practical way.29
> >From this perspective, all matter appears in individual consciousness
> already transformed
> and idealised by the activity of previous generations, and this ideal 
> informs the individual’s activity in the present.
> OK, back to me. What I'm wondering is this: Is "literacy" idealized 
> differently in the two communities of practice (school and outside-school)?
> In school, at least formally, literacy is idealized as the "proper" 
> use of language in textual production and composition, with only the 
> most formal versions acceptable as evidence of literate performance. 
> Adherence to formal rules is the only way to meet the scholastic 
> ideal. At the same time, as soon as kids leave class and go into the 
> hall, other ideals become available, at least for 5 minutes of passing time.
> Outside school, the whole world of literacy possibilities become 
> available, with many ideals to guide production. The discourse genres 
> that govern spoken word performances for the communities of practice 
> that Winn focuses on are one possibility, but there are countless 
> possibilities that suit different trajectories.
> Well, hope that makes some sense. I'm entirely open to the possibility 
> that I've misunderstood Ilyenkov in seeking a way to understand him 
> via Winn. As we say in the South: What do y'all think? p

"Each new level of development is a new relevant context." C.H. Waddington