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[Xmca-l] Re: "Mediation" as Error Correction



Vygotsky quotes Gatschet to make a contrast between modern and primitive use of language.
"We tend to speak precisely, whereas an Indian draws as he speaks; we classify, he individualized. For these reasons, the speech of primitive man, in comparison with our language, truly resembles an endlessly complex, accurate, plastic, and photographic description of an event, with the finest details.

Notice the focus on speech AS drawing images in contrast to classifying. THIS focus is endlessly plastic AND accurate.

Now I want to introduce Bob Dylan and his song *Visions of Johanna* and ask us to place his language into Gatschets contrasting notions.
Remember that the symbolism of dylans language transformed our relation to music and culture. 


-----Original Message-----
From: "Greg Thompson" <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
Sent: ‎2016-‎02-‎14 9:08 PM
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: "Mediation" as Error Correction

Fascinating stuff David - I particularly wonder about montages as
complexive chain?

But I also have wondered about this whole business about Levy-Bruhl. I came
across a very nice piece by Jonathan Z. Smith entitled "I am a parrot
(red)" (Can be found in his book Map is not Territory or in the original
article here: Smith, J. Z.. (1972). I Am a Parrot (Red). History of
Religions, 11(4), 391–413. Retrieved from
http://www.jstor.org/stable/1061849).
J.Z. describes how the original ethnographic citation was to Karl von den
Steinen who conducted ethnographic research among the Bororo. Yet, as he
notes below, it was popularized (in a somewhat twisted form) by Levy-Bruhl.
Here is J.Z.'s take on it:
"The citation in Levy-Bruhl is quite close to von den Steinen's original.
Levy-Bruhl has added the detail that von den Steinen "could not believe it"
and has made one significant alteration in direct quotation. Von den
Steinen had asserted that the Bororo understood themselves to be araras
just as a caterpillar may speak of himself as a butterfly. Levy-Bruhl's
version omits the ambiguity between present and future (or the Aristotelian
actuality and potentiality) in order to emphasize the element of
participation. In his translation, the Bororos insist that "they are araras
at the present time." (Compounding the misrepresentation, Levy-Bruhl
italicized his addition of actuellement.)41 The mischief done by this
cannot be overemphasized. It is Levy-Bruhl and not von den Steinen's
original report (no matter what the footnote may cite) which will be used
by most subsequent writers as an illustration of primitive mentality."

Seems like the Bororo are as interested in "becoming" as are the
dialectical metaphysicians!

J.Z. has lots more to say about the argument regarding "primitive thinking"
as well.

Cheers,
Greg






On Sun, Feb 14, 2016 at 12:20 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Greg:
>
> Here's one:
>
> https://www.marxists.org/archive/vygotsky/works/1930/man/ch05.htm
>
> But the one I was referring to was Thinking and Speech Chapter Five, part
> 13. I'm afraid that in order to understand what Vygotsky is REALLY saying
> about this example (which is from an ethnographer called Von Steinen via
> Levy-Bruhl) you need to understand his whole argument about complexes vs.
> concepts.
>
> I don't think Vygotsky is really saying that "primitive man" does not
> believe in the law of the excluded middle. First of all, he knows (and
> Frits Stahl was later to prove) that one of the most basic functions in
> language, found in every language without exception, is negation, and
> negation operates on the basis of non-overlapping categories of being and
> non-being (but also on the basis of categories which are consciously and
> explicitly fictitious in the sense of being non-actual). Secondly, Vygotsky
> himself doesn't believe in the law of the excluded middle, because
> dialectics excludes it ("becoming" is neither being nor non-being).
>
> Vygotsky is saying that it is perfectly possible for a child, a primitive
> man, an ape...and even a college professor--to have categories that include
> both parrots and people (e.g. "totem", or "living creature"). It is these
> categories that Eisenstein is interested in, because they are the
> categories of which the "montage" is the "germ cell" (note that these terms
> are used by Eisenstein the same meaning that they have in Vygotsky and
> Davydov!)
>
> David Kellogg
> Macquarie University
>
>  :
>
>
>
>
>
> On Mon, Feb 15, 2016 at 2:12 AM, <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > David,
> > Pardon my ignorance but can you give the associated quote from vygotsky,
> > and perhaps also include the conclusion he draws?
> > This is of course of great interests to anthropologists at what has come
> > to be called "the ontological turn." I could imagine them making the same
> > statement as Eisenstein but drawing a nearly opposite conclusion. ("They
> > really are red parakeets!").
> > Greg
> >
> > Sent from my iPhone
> >
> > > On Feb 13, 2016, at 3:31 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > >
> > > Huw, Mary....
> > >
> > > Well, in the Dynamic Assessment literature there's a split. Some argue
> > for
> > > "interventionist" DA, which works on the following assumptions:
> > >
> > > a) The ideal form is present in the curriculum which is given
> beforehand.
> > > b) The path to the ideal form is one of carefully graded "prompts"
> > (similar
> > > to the cline I gave earlier, that is, a focus on:
> > >
> > > 1. The EXISTENCE of an error ("'This is book'. Are you sure that's
> > right?")
> > > 2. The LOCATION of the error. (*This is...?")
> > > 3. The NATURE of the error ("How many books?")
> > > 4. The WAY TO CORRECT the error ("This is a....?")
> > > 5. The active ACCEPTANCE of correction ("No, now listen. 'This is a
> > book.'")
> > > 6. The passive RECOGNITION of correction ("No, now listen. 'This is a
> > > book.' Repeat that for me!")
> > >
> > > (Note in passing that this isn't that different from the idea of
> reducing
> > > frustration by reducing the consequences of error and then reducing the
> > > probability of error, c.f. Bruner, Wood and Ross 1975.)
> > >
> > > The idea behind interventionist DA is that the curriculum is always
> right
> > > and there exists (more or less) a single path to the curriculum, which
> > can
> > > be marked out by the prompts 1-6. The RATE of progress to the
> curricular
> > > model will change, but the ROUTE is invariable.
> > >
> > > You can see that two corollaries follow from this idea of invariant
> route
> > > and variable rates. The first is that the interventionist DA model is
> > > assessment oriented, which appeals to principals as well as to
> > independent
> > > minded learners. The second is that the interventionist DA model is
> > > particularly conducive to the mass production of teaching materials
> that
> > > sideline the teacher, the sort of thing that Mary is worried about in
> > > Washington.
> > >
> > > The second option is just the opposite: it's called "interactionist"
> DA,
> > > and it's highly favored by Jim Lantolf (and Steve Thorne, Mathew
> Poehner,
> > > Neguerlea-Azola, and other writers associated with Penn State
> > University).
> > > The idea is just the opposite: there isn't a single path, and the route
> > to
> > > "communicative competence" can be highly variable so the whole is
> subject
> > > to negotiation.
> > >
> > > You can see that this model is not so assessment oriented, and that it
> > > foregrounds the teacher and will tend to disempower publishers at the
> > > expense of teacher trainers (and, more worryingly, non-native speakers
> at
> > > the expense of native speakers).
> > >
> > > Maybe these two variants of DA correspond, more or less, to the kind of
> > > bifurcation that Huw is talking about? That is, the former is more
> > > conducive to the Leontiev/Davidov/Elkonin model of learner
> appropriation
> > > and self-regulation as development, while the latter tends to the
> > > Lave/Rogoff/Matusov model of participatory learning?
> > >
> > > And Vygotsky? I rather suspect he would have wished a hearty plague on
> > both
> > > houses, although as Huw says, in Vygotsky the end result of development
> > is
> > > not merely participation: it's individuation.
> > >
> > > A propos. I have been reading Eisenstein's essays "Film Form". There
> are
> > > long quotes in it that are STRAIGHT out of Thinking and Speech--I mean,
> > > word for word. Take, for example, p. 135:
> > >
> > > "The Indians of this tribe--the Bororo--maintain that, while human
> > beings,
> > > they are none the less at the same time also a special kind of red
> > parakeet
> > > common in Brazil. Note that by this they do not in any way mean that
> they
> > > will become these birds after death, or that their ancestors were such
> in
> > > the remote past. Not at all. They directly maintain that they are in
> > > reality these actual birds. It is not here a matter of identity of
> names
> > or
> > > relationships; they mean a complete simultaneous identity of both."
> > >
> > > Eisenstein, S. (1949). Film Form. New York: Harcourt.
> > >
> > > Has anyone noticed this before?
> > >
> > > David Kellogg
> > > Macquarie University
> > >
> > >
> > >> On Sat, Feb 13, 2016 at 7:06 AM, Mary Connery <ConneryMC@cwu.edu>
> > wrote:
> > >>
> > >> Dear colleagues:
> > >> Just a quick hello to validate David's insights! In my view from
> > >> Washington schools, I would also add there is a huge profit being made
> > by
> > >> companies that construct, dictate, create materials for, and assess
> > >> curriculum from this neo-behaviorist stance. It has created an epic
> > teacher
> > >> shortage; is replacing fundamental, essential, and formative
> > >> teacher-student relationships with machines and big media; and
> promoting
> > >> the anti-thesis of content development and language acquisition in the
> > name
> > >> of educational reform. In the meantime, the CEOs in Palo Alto send
> their
> > >> kids to Montessori and Waldorf schools to develop creativity.
> > >>
> > >> Have a good day!
> > >>
> > >> Dr. M. Cathrene Connery
> > >> Senior Lecturer
> > >> Central Washington University
> > >> Language, Literacy, & Special Education
> > >> Ellensburg, WA 98927
> > >> connerymc@cwu.edu
> > >>
> > >> "Be the change you wish to see in the world." ~Ghandi~
> > >>
> > >>>> On Feb 12, 2016, at 12:48 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
> > >>> wrote:
> > >>>
> > >>> Huw, Alfredo, Alex, Mike:
> > >>>
> > >>> Language teaching is still in a stage I would call semi-behaviorist:
> we
> > >> are
> > >>> interested in shaping behavior, and not in what Kozulin calls
> cognitive
> > >>> modifications. So the "dynamic assessment" work done by Feuerstein
> and
> > >>> Kozulin has been "shaped" by the studies of corrective feedback done
> in
> > >> the
> > >>> late twentieth century by people like Mike Long, Cathy Doughty,
> Teresa
> > >>> Pica, and Susan Gass. At first these studies seemed to show that
> > >> corrective
> > >>> feedback was more effective when it was implicit--when there was a
> > focus
> > >> on
> > >>> meaning rather than on form--because the result was that people were
> > able
> > >>> to shape their behavior even when their cognitive focus was
> elsewhere.
> > >> But
> > >>> in 1997 Lyster and Ranta demonstrated that most teachers already use
> > the
> > >>> most implicit form of correction, namely the so-called "recast".
> > >>>
> > >>> S: And this is book.
> > >>> T: That's a book, yeah.
> > >>> S: Yeah, this is book, and is very expensive in you country.
> > >>>
> > >>> They also demonstrated that these implicit forms of correction were
> the
> > >>> most likely to be ignored by the student, often because (as in this
> > >>> example) the student is quite unaware that anything is wrong at all.
> So
> > >> it
> > >>> has begun to appear that cognitive modifications are not irrelevant
> > after
> > >>> all.
> > >>>
> > >>> As Andy points out, there is a strong tendency for we as academics to
> > >>> resist cognitive modifications too--that is why people prefer to mine
> > >>> Vygotsky's (Marx's, Hegel's) texts for jargon with which to rephrase
> > what
> > >>> they already believe rather than to undertake the hard work of
> > >>> reconstructing the whole original system of concepts in their
> context.
> > >> But
> > >>> academics are a powerful check on other academics.
> > >>>
> > >>> After years of equating "dynamic assessment" with corrective
> feedback,
> > >> Matt
> > >>> Poehner has begun to argue that dynamic assessment is really about
> > >>> transferring the locus of assessment to the learner. I am not sure to
> > >> what
> > >>> extent this argument is motivated by a desire to return to the
> > Vygotskyan
> > >>> idea of internalization and to what extent it is simply another swing
> > of
> > >>> the pendulum: it seems to me that Poehner's model of
> "self-assessment"
> > >>> pretty much ignores what Vygotsky really had to say about
> > >> internalization,
> > >>> because (like the idea that DA is nothing more than corrective
> > feedback)
> > >> it
> > >>> assumes that the "mediator" is the site of development and not just
> the
> > >>> source (that is, the learner's job is not to reconstruct or to
> > >> restructure
> > >>> the correct form but simply to "appropriate" it from the
> environment).
> > >>>
> > >>> So it seems to me that the place to start to try to untangle this web
> > of
> > >>> misappropriations from Vygotsky is with "mediation". As Andy says,
> for
> > >>> Hegel everything in heaven and earth, man and nature, is mediated
> (but
> > >> some
> > >>> things are more so than others). For Marx mediation arises because
> > >> without
> > >>> it reason (man) is simply the slave of necessity (nature). For the
> old
> > >>> Vygotsky (the critical reactologist) mediation arises because one
> > >> stimulus
> > >>> can have many responses and vice versa, and for the new Vygotsky (the
> > >>> semasiologist, the pedologist), it arises because one sign can have
> > many
> > >>> interpreters and many interpretations and vice versa. This allows the
> > >>> emergence of self and free will (because after all I myself am a
> > >> potential
> > >>> interpreter of my own signs). So it turns out that Poehner's emphasis
> > on
> > >>> self-assessment is not completely irrelevant.
> > >>>
> > >>> A propos, a little problem in translation for the Russophones on the
> > >> list.
> > >>> Vygotsky says (in his work on Early Childhood in Vol. 4 of the
> Russian
> > >>> Collected Works, p. 347).
> > >>>
> > >>> "Габриэль очень хорошо описал эти постоянные непонимания. По его
> > мнению,
> > >>> исследователи напрасно не обращали внимания на затруднения в
> понимании
> > >>> только что начинающего говорить ребенка взрослыми."
> > >>>
> > >>> Hall renders this as:
> > >>>
> > >>> "Gabriel described these misunderstandings (that is, the
> > >> misunderstandings
> > >>> caused by the child's use of single word sentences to adults) very
> > well.
> > >> In
> > >>> his opinion, investigators did not turn their attention in vain to
> the
> > >>> adults' difficulties in understanding a child who is just beginning
> to
> > >>> speak."
> > >>>
> > >>> But it seems to me that the very opposite interpretation is also
> > >> possible:
> > >>>
> > >>> "Gabriel described these misunderstandings very well. According to
> him,
> > >>> researchers wasted their time in not attending to the difficulty for
> > >> adults
> > >>> in understanding a child who just starting to speak."
> > >>>
> > >>> What do you think?
> > >>>
> > >>> David Kellogg
> > >>> Macquarie University
> > >>>
> > >>>
> > >>>
> > >>>
> > >>>
> > >>>
> > >>>
> > >>> On Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 5:41 AM, Huw Lloyd <
> huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
> > >>> wrote:
> > >>>
> > >>>> Hi David,
> > >>>>
> > >>>> Well, we can ask direct and indirect with respect to what?  The sign
> > >>>> systems, in this case, are what is being 'directly' corrected.  The
> > >>>> indirect, is that which the sign systems are about.  So, a good
> > >> situation
> > >>>> in which to learn appropriate grammar for this phrase is one in
> which
> > >>>> ambiguity and confusion is induced in the receiver of such a
> message,
> > >>>> thereby allowing for a contextualised and situated understanding of
> > the
> > >>>> meaning.  For students who are comfortable with talking about
> notation
> > >>>> itself, however, perhaps you can do both, but I still think it
> merits
> > >>>> pointing to the real meanings.
> > >>>>
> > >>>>> From the encyclopaedia of social behavioural sciences:
> > >>>>
> > >>>> Actiity Theory and Errors
> > >>>>
> > >>>> Activity theorists define errors as the non attainment of an
> activity
> > >> goal.
> > >>>> The comparison of the activity outcome with the goal determines
> > whether
> > >> the
> > >>>> goal has been achieved or whether further actions have to be
> > >> accomplished.
> > >>>> If an unintended outcome occurs, an error will be given.
> > Consequently, a
> > >>>> definition of an error based on Activity Theories integrates three
> > >> aspects:
> > >>>> (a) errors will only appear in goal-directed actions; (b) an error
> > >> implies
> > >>>> the nonattainment of the goal; (c) an error should have been
> > potentially
> > >>>> avoidable (Frese and Zapf 1991). Frese and Zapf (1991) developed an
> > >> error
> > >>>> taxonomy based on a version of Action Theory. This taxonomy and
> other
> > >>>> comparable ones are inevitable in the examination of causes of
> errors
> > >> and
> > >>>> faults as a prerequisite of error prevention. Error prevention
> became
> > an
> > >>>> inevitable concern in modern technologies, e.g., the control rooms
> of
> > >>>> nuclear power plants.
> > >>>>
> > >>>> Best,
> > >>>> Huw
> > >>>>
> > >>>>
> > >>>>
> > >>>>
> > >>>>
> > >>>>> On 11 February 2016 at 20:24, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
> > >> wrote:
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> I don't think error correction or even "making a student say 'This
> > is a
> > >>>>> book' is always "direct" or "immediate", quite the contrary. Most
> of
> > >> the
> > >>>> DA
> > >>>>> sources I am referring to (yes, I am thinking of Lantolf and
> Poehner)
> > >>>>> distinguish between the highly indirect and the direct. We can lay
> > out
> > >> a
> > >>>>> kind of cline.
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> HIGHLY INDIRECT
> > >>>>> a) What did you say?
> > >>>>> b) Did you say a book?
> > >>>>> c) A book?
> > >>>>> d) A book.
> > >>>>> e) You mean a book.
> > >>>>> f) No, you have to say "a book".
> > >>>>> HIGHLY DIRECT
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> There are various ways of discussing this cline in the literature,
> > e.g.
> > >>>>> "implicit" to "explicit" correction (Long and Doughty), or
> > >>>>> "interventionist" vs. "non-interventionist" (Lantolf and Poehner),
> or
> > >>>>> "recasts" vs. "prompts" (Ellis and others), "other repair" vs.
> "self
> > >>>>> repair" (the Conversation Analysts). I don't agree that direct
> > >>>> intervention
> > >>>>> is bad, and indirect intervention good. Since the work of Lyster
> and
> > >>>> Ranta,
> > >>>>> we have become acutely conscious that most teacher intervention is
> > >> highly
> > >>>>> indirect and thus highly ineffective.
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> The real thing that needs to be "mediated" is this:
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> g) Every singular noun must have a determiner in English.
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> Now, I think grasping this (is it implicit? Is it explicit?) is
> > >> mediation
> > >>>>> only in the following sense: in order to be able to use it, you
> need
> > to
> > >>>>> understand concepts like "noun", "singular", and "determiner".
> These
> > >> are
> > >>>>> all academic concepts and not everyday concepts and they cannot be
> > >>>> directly
> > >>>>> taught (c.f. Chapter Six of Thinking and Speech). I think that all
> > >> error
> > >>>>> correction, direct and indi


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