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[Xmca-l] Re: Objective and Subjective ZPDs
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- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Objective and Subjective ZPDs
- From: Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 7 Sep 2015 18:50:15 +1000
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Of course we must distinguish, David, between between the
environment and the neoformations (which are the opposites
here) and the social situation of development to boot.
Distinctions are necessary wherever there is a word. But the
point is whether you have a concept of the unity, and if so
whether you can make a beginning from that unity and proceed
by means of differentiation. This is I believe, Vygotsky's
method, which is in contrast to the approach which takes two
concepts, each of them understood and defined independently
of one another, and then *glues* them together. Vygotsky is
very good at giving us concepts which are subject-objects;
when we grasp these concepts, then we can grasp subjective
and objective aspects of the whole. The whole is the social
situation of development; the child's environment is just
one aspect of the SSD cannot be meaningfully and completely
described if it is taken as a starting point. The same goes
for the psychological neoformation. An action is a unity of
consciousness and behaviour, for example, and that is a
starting point for us.
Ad. units of analysis. There is no implication that every
unit is the same. Every molecule of H2O is identical but
that is a peculiarity of the quantum world. A house is built
of many different kinds of component, many of them bricks,
and an organism is made up of many different kinds of cell,
even though all these cells appeared by differentiation from
originally a very simple organism.
On 7/09/2015 3:37 PM, David Kellogg wrote:
Surely, Andy, Vygotsky wishes us to distinguish between
the social situation of development and the
neoformations--as he points out, the creation of the
neoformation is what liquidates the social situation of
development (you yourself made the crucial point that the
'social situation' includes both the child and the
environment, and for precisely this reason it involves a
tension between individual and social, between external
and internal, and--dare I say it--between objective and
subjective. Just as surely, he would like to provide some
link between the two, and it's for that reason he has
lines of development. To tell you the truth, that's what I
got out of your critique of Engestrom--without
MISconceptions, concepts simply cannot develop, and with
only non-fuzzy categories, we can have a perfectly good
systems analysis, but no analysis into units.
The one part of your Engestrom paper I really disagreed
with was where you say that the object of analysis can be
rendered as nothing but millions of units of analysis.
Buildings are not just billions of bricks; humans are not
just trillions of cells, and language is not made up of
hextillions of words. In between the brick and the
building, there are human shaped units like rooms and
there are environment shaped units like floors and
ceilings, in between the cell and the human there are
organs and systems, whose respiration and excretion is not
like a cell but not exactly like a whole human being
either, and in between the word and the clause there are
lots of intermediate units like groups, phrases, and so
on. So I think there must be units that are more clause
like and units that are more text lke too. There always
has to be some qualitative difference as well as
quantitative differences between the Ur-phenomenon (the
unit of analysis, word meaning, perizhivanie, etc.) and
the macro phenomenon. So for analysis into units to work
at all, we need fuzzy thinking.
On Mon, Sep 7, 2015 at 1:19 PM, Andy Blunden
<firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>> wrote:
Great article by Seth, David. So thoroughly researched
and clearly explained.
I think the problem with the notion of subjective and
objective ZPDs is that like many others before him
Seth has mixed up the subjective/objective distinction
with the categories of universal, individual and
particular, which is also why we get the "more or
less" entering into what is supposed to be objective.
A N Leontyev does the same thing with meanings which
are "more or less objective".
The culturally and historically normative is
universal; that is what "universal" means. Like
"normative" it does not mean "objective", as if every
individual had the same one. They don't.
What Seth calls the "subjective" ZPD should be called
"individual." It is no more subjective than the
so-called "objective ZPD.
What is missing is that the universal it only
manifested in the "particular" conditions of each
family, school, etc., and it is this particular which
is actual (=acting) for the given child, and not "more
or less" active.
ZPD is best retained, I think, as the concept which is
both subjective and objective and inseparably so.
Talking about subjective *and* objective ZPDs may have
heuristic and pedagogical value, but I think it can,
in the end, also contribute to confusion.
On 6/09/2015 6:26 PM, David Kellogg wrote:
Martin, Andy, Mike...and Others:
I've been trying to make sense out of Seth
Chaiklin's distinction between
the "objective" ZPD and the subjective
obviously got in mind
exactly the material we are now translating:
Vygotsky's attempt to render
the ZPD as a "next zone of development",
next zone of development
a) given by the social situation of
(and therefore more or less
the same for a whole age group of children).
b) given by the "ripening functions" in
of development (and
therefore different for every individual
So here's what I've got in chart form. As
see, it's very different
from the chart that Andy had in his 2009
and also somewhat
different from the very elegant
Martin had (which to my
chagrin I can't remember very well).
I've added a column of linguistic
from Halliday's 2002
volume on early childhood language,
because I have
to be able to apply all
this to data some day very soon.....
This is a very sketchy schematicky sort of
preliminary draft, and
criticisms, objections, imprecations, and even
just gutteral mutterings
would be most welcome.