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[Xmca-l] "Mediation" as Error Correction



I am occasionally, out of deference to a few papers I once published in
TESOL, sent articles to review on the use of Vygotskyan concepts in
language learning. Time was that these articles were mostly about
scaffolding and the ZPD; of late they have been mostly concerned with
"internalization" and "mediation".

The problem is that most of these articles have taken these concepts
entirely out of child development and placed them in an alien
context--classroom error correction, which is now referred to as "Dynamic
Assessment".

I am not sure what to do about this. It seems to me that one way to start
to address the issue is to go back to the original Hegelian idea of
"mediation" as using one force of nature against another: the force of air
pressure against gravity in flying, or the friction of snow vs. the
momentum of the fall line in skiing.

When a teacher corrects an error in a classroom, e.g. when a teacher makes
the student say "This is a book" instead of "This is book", what are the
forces of nature that are being used against each other? Is this really an
instance of mediation at all?

David Kellogg
Macquarie University