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[Xmca-l] Re: Sad news-- Jerry Bruner has died
- To: David Kellogg <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Sad news-- Jerry Bruner has died
- From: Lplarry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2016 07:00:08 -0700
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This way of composing three (zones)
The invisible zone, the transitional zone, and the visible or phenomenal zone creates a mental image that is very helpful.
The transitional zone implies a medial position as a place where mediation and meaning (significance) as *potential* exists.
Can this medial place be the place James Ma is elucidating using Peirce’s concept of (abduction) where hypothesis originate?
I am way over my head hear, but find this response to James resonates and produces my wondering ways
Sent from my Windows 10 phone
From: David Kellogg
Sent: June 17, 2016 3:37 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Sad news-- Jerry Bruner has died
I think that Vygotsky's zone of proximal development can be seen as
involving the transitional zone between the visible and the invisible, as
you say. But the zone involves a transition from the invisible to the
visible. Take for example a class I observed this week. Some Korean sixth
graders are learning the ability to read fluently, by skipping over large
blocks of text, perhaps only noticing the initial and final letter, forming
a testable hypothesis about the letters in between, comparing with leading
and following context and moving on where this is adequate. The teacher
teaches this by giving an impossible task--the kids have to read a long
text about playing music to vegetables--five or six pages long. They then
stand up, one by one, and are given random passages with the sections
blanked out.They have to read the passages aloud and fill in the missing
blocks of text as best they can. When they fail, the teacher rings a bell
and they must sit down, having lost points for their whole team. The kids
are allowed to help each other (making hypotheses visible) but they are not
allowed to check the book (what's in the book stays in the book). It is
really the SAME reasoning as the functional method of dual stimulation, but
reversed. The functional method of dual stimulation allows the child to
INTERNALIZE the meaning making process by transferring it first from
interpersonal modes of mediation (instructor led) to extramental modes
(using signs) to "vraschevanie", or intro-volution. With the zone of
proximal development, we are EXTERNALIZING it; we are making still immature
functions visible by offering mediation, and with the functional method of
dual stimulation we are making visible functions invisible.
I can't understand the difference between "best explanation" and "final
solution". It seems a distinction without a difference to me, like the
difference between voting for Donald Trump and supporting him.
I can't agree with the Barthesian inversion of Saussure's location of
linguistics as part of semiotics. Semiotics and linguistics both deal with
meaning. But semiotics includes types of meaning which are not linguistic.
Can you think of any linguistic meaning which is not semiotic? I can't.
On Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 3:27 AM, Ma, James (firstname.lastname@example.org) <
> There are at least three points I’d like to make regarding the concept of
> First, scaffolding is an act of semiotic mediation. To some extent it
> resembles Ruqaiya Hasan’s “visible mediation” – which is deliberate and of
> which interactants are aware. James Wertsch coined the term “explicit
> mediation”, in which stimuli involved are not only intentional and overt
> but also non-transitory. However, the very essence of scaffolding is to
> reduce and eventually diminish itself when a novice has achieved what is
> expected of him, although it may reappear depending on the needs of the
> novice. For me, this is where scaffolding differs from Vygotsky’s ZPD (of
> course ZPD is used in more of a didactic, instructive context).
> Second, through the prism of Peircean abduction, scaffolding can be seen
> as involving inference to best explanations – which means the more
> experienced social partner trying to work out how best to assist the
> novice. Possible effective solutions are best in themselves but there is no
> point in finding out a final solution – as Umberto Eco would say this is
> “unlimited semiosis”, which means semiosis perpetuates itself in the
> realisation of meaning potentials. If I were to theorise scaffolding based
> on Peircean iconicity, scaffolding is imbued with iconic signs in all
> semiotic forms – verbal, non-verbal, visual, gestural and auditory etc.
> Third, Roland Barthes in his “Elements of Semiology” (1967) inverted the
> Saussurean classification of linguistics as part of semiotics. To me, the
> Barthesian rearrangement of semiotics as part of linguistics offers a tour
> d’horizon of the multimodality of communication and representation in
> modern times. Language is thus in its most productive sense, encompassing
> the entirety of semiotic resources – and this can, arguably, assist in
> extending disciplinary boundaries and hence augment semiotic construction.
> In the meantime, the word-forming potential of other modalities enriches
> language as a linguistic modality because other modalities can all be cast
> into words. For me, this is a dynamic two-way exchange (between linguistics
> and semiotics) that deserves considered attention, if we are to further
> explore scaffolding within the CHAT research paradigm.
> James Ma PhD MA BSc FHEA
> NEW PEER-REVIEWED JOURNAL ARTICLES
> Ma, J. (2016). Semiotising the student perception of learning outcomes in
> British higher education. Social Semiotics. Taylor & Francis.
> Ma, J. (forthcoming, March 2017). “Good packaging can be misleading”: A
> semiotic analysis of intersubjectivity as theory of mind between mother and
> child during shared reading. British Journal of Educational Psychology.
> PUBLICATIONS IN T&F MOST READ COLLECTIONS OF 2015
> From: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> on behalf of Lplarry <email@example.com>
> Sent: 11 June 2016 16:06
> To: Kindred, Jessica Dr.; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Sad news-- Jerry Bruner has died
> I have watched the video of Bruner describing the arc of his personal
> development and noticed the centrality of the way hypothesis channel our
> actions in the actual world. Bruner hypothesizes two dominate ways of
> knowing (science and narrative) both of which generate hypothesis.
> Holding the reality that our hypothesis can both constrain and afford
> human actions I want to mention James Ma’s exploration of Peirce’s notion
> of *abduction* to elaborate Bruner’s relation between hypothesis and
> In James’s article in Mind, Culture, and Activity: (2014) vlome 21:4
> (374-389) exploring the synergy of Peirce and Vygotsky he explores the
> concept of abduction as central to hypothesis *generating* constraints and
> affordances. (see page 380).
> Here is a summary.
> Abduction is “the process of forming an explanatory hypothesis”.
> The interpretation of signs (which is sign action) IS a *generative
> process* resulting in sparking (meaning potentials) through semiotic action.
> That is, the abductive process of hypothesis formation (cognition)
> PROVides *space* for continuous representation of an object ( a Peircean
> object is the formation of *true meaning*).
> James hears echos of Baldwin’s *genetic logic* within this exploration of
> hypothesis generation (abduction) as the process of sparking meaning
> *potentials* that *awaken* or *emerge* into actuality.
> The other Peircean notion of *vagueness* or being *opaque* seems to be
> implied in abduction.
> For example Bruner’s notion of (scaffolding) when intuitively generated is
> a vague, opaque hypothesis *travelling* toward becoming a clarified *true
> meaning* (an object) which for Peirce was a continuous process of
> generating (meaning potential) which enters actuality.
> I read in this notion of abduction a central theme in Bruner’s video
> podcast, and wanted to spark a dialogue with James Ma’s project to travel
> towards *multimodal* cognition.
> In particular word-image complimentarity.
> James references Valsiner and Rosa with respect to the role of language in
> cognition. They pointed out a contemporary *tendency of dependence* on
> language as “the only way of dealing with *meaning and sense*
> James is calling us to go deeper into multimodal processes that includes
> language as a mode but extending this mode to include multimodal semiosis.
> This article sparks deep reflection on the centrality of meaning
> *potential* as continuously generated.
> Sent from my Windows 10 phone
> From: Kindred, Jessica Dr.
> Sent: June 11, 2016 6:42 AM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Sad news-- Jerry Bruner has died
> Glad I asked. I guess I see it's value as a corrective to the idea of
> teaching as delivery.
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org [email@example.com]
> on behalf of David Kellogg [firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Friday, June 10, 2016 7:48 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Sad news-- Jerry Bruner has died
> It's possible to interpret Professor Bruner's email as hubris on several
> a) It assumes that he was the first to use this metaphor. It's not clear to
> me that this is the case--a number of people used it and Peter Langford and
> Renee van der Veer have included Vygotsky in this number, although I have
> not seen evidence of this at all.
> b) It assumes that it was a good label for the phenomenon he is describing.
> This is not clear to me either, as it is a mechanical one, and suggests
> that knowledge is something entirely external to the child or worse that
> the child himself is the work in progress.
> c) It suggests that Bruner is a prophet to whom accurate, correct,
> influential "intuitions" come out of the blue, his hand made strong by the
> hand of the Almighty. This slights a lot of the painstaking work that
> Bruner did; like Mike he came out of a rigorously behaviorist training,
> which like Mike he had to transcend rather than simply (like most of us)
> disdain without first mastering (I remember an early work of Bruner's in
> which he defined development as "the lengthening of the distance between
> the stimulus and the response").
> As I said, I don't interpret Professor Bruner's email in that way. Like
> Rob, I found it helpful, but mostly because it emphasized the random,
> aleatory, and not very well thought out quality of the metaphor.
> I think where we really disagree is on the nature of that metaphor--I don't
> agree at all that it has been a useful tool for thinking about learning,
> much less about development, and it has been a very blunt instrument for
> thinking about the zone of proximal development.
> I made the point before that Vygotsky measures the ZPD in years, but nobody
> else does. One important reason that nobody else does is that people have
> assimilated the ZPD to scaffolding, which is manifestly (in Bruner, Woods
> and Ross and also in Acts of Meaning) about an instantaneous assimilation
> of a ready made solution.
> Over the last few weeks I have been translating the lecture on the Crisis
> at Three from Vygotsky's lectures on pedology. Now, if you read the
> material in Volume Five of the English Collected Works of LSV, you will be
> very disappointed. Vygotsky begins the lecture with the statement that he
> is going to examine the crisis from three points of view: neoformation,
> line of development, and zone of proximal development. Then he says that
> before he does any of these things, he wants to examine a good deal of
> factual material (this is a typical move for Vygotsky--he never wants to
> impose his categories on the material and instead prefers to allow them to
> emerge from it, having given us some advance word of what to expect). The
> editors of the Collected Works claim that the "factual material" is taken
> from Elsa Kohler (one of the great unsung heroes of child development and
> also gay rights, who lived openly with her lover in Nazi occupied Vienna).
> On the face of it, though, it's just the "Seven Stars"--a folk theory in
> Russia which corresponds to our folk theory of "terrible twos" and
> "threenagers". And then the material ends, without any further mention of
> the neoformation, the line of development or the ZPD.
> Without Galina Korotaeva, this would be the end of the story. But
> Korotaeva's edition of the "Lektsii' po pedologii" has a lecture "The
> Crisis at Three and the Crisis at Seven" which for all the world appears to
> take up precisely where the material in the Collected Works left off
> (Vygotsky begins by referring back to the "Seven Stars" and noting the
> unkept promise!). In fact, this appearance is misleading: the lecture in
> Korotaeva's edition dates from a year BEFORE the material in the CW. But it
> seems very likely that Vygotsky gave this course ("Foundations of
> Pedology") more than once in the last two years of his life, and so I think
> we can nevertheless read this as an early version of the continuation of
> the CW material. Here Vygotsky really does talk about the neoformation
> ("hypobulia"), discuss lines of development (tantrums where the child
> appears to act contrary to his own wishes, refusing to do things he
> actually wants to do, and insisting on doing things that he doesn't really
> care about or even dislikes). Then LSV says:
> Остается ответить на последний вопрос: что же делает это поведение ребенка
> гипобулическим и выделяет от волевого поведения ребенка дошкольного
> возраста? То противоречивое положение, которое сказывается в том, что
> ребенок делает эти отношения другим мотивом своей деятельности, оторвано от
> своих собственных желаний и фактически делает вопреки собственным желаниям.
> Иначе говоря, получается парадоксальное явление, когда существенным
> содержанием 3-летнего кризиса является дифференцировка воли от аффекта.
> "What remains is to reply to the last question: What does this hypobulic
> behavior of the child offer, and what does it prefigure for the volitional
> behavior of the child in preschool age? The contradictory position that
> affects the child offers this different relative motive for his own
> behavior, divorced from his own inclinations and facutally acting contrary
> to his inclinations. In a word, what transpires is a paradoxical phenomenon
> where the essential content of the crisis at three consists in the
> differentiation of will from affect."
> What is the last question? I think it's the question he asks at the very
> beginning of the material in the CW--what is the zone of proximal
> development for the Crisis at Three? And here the answer is most clear:
> it's the NEXT zone of development, that is, the actual zone of development
> for the preschool years (ages 3-7), i.e. it's not and never has been
> David Kellogg
> Macquarie University
> On Sat, Jun 11, 2016 at 7:12 AM, Kindred, Jessica Dr. <email@example.com>
> > I am unclear about how the idea of hubris has come into this. Humility,
> > okay. Metaphor, clearly. Temporary, yes, as in the literal meaning of
> > scaffolding, so too its metaphorical extension. But enduring, clearly,
> > as a tool for thinking about learning.
> > ________________________________________
> > From: firstname.lastname@example.org [email@example.com]
> > on behalf of David Kellogg [firstname.lastname@example.org]
> > Sent: Thursday, June 9, 2016 6:08 PM
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Sad news-- Jerry Bruner has died
> > I think one of the few advantages of being dead is that a critical
> > evaluation of one's work as a complete narrative product then becomes
> > possible. This is why I think the idea of a memorial issue for Jerome
> > Bruner makes such great critical sense (and it's also why a memorial
> > for Ruqaiya Hasan, the anniversary of whose death is in two weeks time,
> > makes sense). Bruner would have welcomed that, not in hubris but in
> > humility.
> > I have a rather different interpretation of the email that Rob Lake
> > circulated: I thought it was a good example of Bruner's humility, not his
> > hubris. "Scaffolding" was a highly influential metaphor--but I think that
> > by saying that it was just a labeling intuition out of the blue Bruner
> > emphasizing that it was a metaphor. Metaphors are misleading: they tell
> > a good deal about the relationship between forces but they tell us
> > about the nature of the force itself. So for example the "scaffolding"
> > Bruner wanted to emphasize was temporary: it was something to be taken
> > down. But in th einterpretation of "scaffolding" it has become
> > and a permanent fixture of interaction. Worse, it has become identified
> > with the ZPD, which it resembles not at all.
> > I would say the same thing about his ideas of narrative. Bruner was prone
> > to wild enthusiasms, and his enthusiasm for narrative as the very source
> > self is one of these. Yes, I suppose the life of Bruner is now a
> > But from his point of view ,the really interesting part is what happened
> > before it became one.
> > David Kellogg
> > Macquarie University
> > On Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 1:53 AM, Bella Kotik-Friedgut <
> > email@example.com
> > > wrote:
> > > I am now in Portugal at EVC 4 Vygotsky conference. I shared with the
> > > audience my memories of J.Bruner's visit to Moscow. It was