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[Xmca-l] Re: Why Doesn't Vygotsky Use "Microgenesis"?



Dear Zaza and Mike,

My apologies for entering the conversation on Kukiya-kiya late, however,
the article was so compelling I feel I should still enter. First, to Zaza,
thank you for writing such a forceful analysis of learning through
prototyping. I especially like the ways in which your analytical lens
included the political dimensions of problem solving and invoking
expertise. There are two ideas within the article that I hope to use and
extend in my work as well, and a question for Zaza, Mike, and others at the
end of my second musing.

The first is your discussion of disinheritance as *an attention to
materials—a way of looking at materials that allows the beholder to
recognize transience, mutability, intermediateness—that allows Zimbabweans
to employ novel and unexpected ways to act within and around the
constraints of their material conditions.* By pointing out the separate
cognitive practice associated with seeing through disinheritance, the
analysis draws attention to the political dimension of learning. The
possible activities and therefore learning opportunities that arise through
this historical perception change and assumptions about designing learning
environments then shifts with these methods of seeing and using materials.
It also draws another potential distinction between the Maker Movement and
Kukiya—kiya. The Makers Movement doesn’t necessarily claim a political
agenda, however, by claiming something a-political or claiming an agenda of
advancing technological skills in the name of progress, it has a historical
and political situated set of values that may be in opposition to those of
Kukiya—kiya that suffer the consequences of material disinheritance arising
in the context of economic crisis. Vossoughi, Hooper, and Escudé (2016) do
a wonderful job of pointing out many of the neoliberal consequences of a
maker movement that does not see the lineage of prototyping expertise
coming from many low-income communities living in “tight circumstances”.
The power of the design of this prototyping project, for me, comes from
centering local expertise in the design of the learning environment.
Although prototyping is at the center of both “making” and “kukiya—kiya”
practices, it seems the political sense making between settings couldn’t be
more different. Even within the Zaza paper, the participants question how
invention might or might not lead to liberation. I appreciate Zaza's
attention to how participants questioned invention and business acumen as a
means to “extricate Zimbabwe from its economic quandary”. A lesser
researcher may have ignored this comment as outside of the design process
and therefore the data set to be analyzed.

The second idea, related to the political dimensions of cognition that are
often overlooked, is your analysis of gender and expertise in the design
process. I am struck by how the performance of gender and design-expertise
came in the form of whispers and informal conversations about hand-bags. It
would be great to have more analysis like this one where gender networks
inform design. In fact, it seems gender (man/woman/trans/other) is always
informing design, but perhaps performance of expertise that is cis-male is
sometimes confused with having expertise at all. You analysis offers more
nuance about other kinds of performance of expertise. I wonder if
discussions about hand-bags creates the intimacy necessary to share
female-cis gendered understandings of design problems. I would love to hear
your thinking on this matter.

Again, thank you for your work and for the insights that this article has
provided me.

- Molly Shea

On Mon, Oct 17, 2016 at 5:46 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:

> ​Since it appears that people have completed discussion of Zaza's paper
> (and of course, anyone is free to add to the discussion at any time), I
> feel freer to engage the microgenesis/ontogenesis relationship.
>
> I know too little about L1/L2 discussions to contribute there, but as life
> allows I will try to suggest that microgenesis can be shown, in at least
> some circumstances, to involve both learning and development.
>
> So I attach an example from the work of Vivian Paley. It addresses (I
> believe) Vygotsky's idea that play creates a Zoped in which a child is "a
> head taller than herself."
>
> Perhaps the example is inappropriate to the discussion or my interpretation
> of it is bonkers. To me it illustrates both LSV's claim about the zoped and
> play and is a case of microgenesis with ontogenetic implications.
>
> See what you think. its 4 pages long.
> mike
>
> On Mon, Oct 17, 2016 at 5:33 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Arturo:
> >
> > Thanks for the very thoughtful reply. I think the only word I might
> > possibly disagree with is "unfortunately". I suppose there may also be a
> > "zone of proximal learning", just as there is a zone of proximal
> evolution
> > (I suspect, given the mass extinctions which are going on in the
> > Anthropocene, that we are in one of these at present), and a zone of
> > proximal social progress (these have turned out to be far longer than I
> > ever thought as a young person). But I think for now it's a very good
> idea
> > to focus on the D in ZPD, and not to forget that it's for "development"
> and
> > not for learning.
> >
> > Let me give three reasons. First of all, if we are interested in the what
> > word value looks like when we remove the sound that realizes it, we are
> > necessarily interested in a psychological rather than an interpersonal
> > phenomenon. Secondly, the focus on quick results in learning very often
> > ends up victimizing teachers for problems in development that have
> nothing
> > to do with teaching methods and are really developmentally rooted.
> Thirdly,
> > just as we need to understand exactly what teachers are doing before we
> go
> > about introducing interested changes, we also need to understand what
> > Vygotsky was trying to do before we decide it is irrelevant to our
> teaching
> > needs.
> >
> > This morning I was working on the beginning of the "Crisis at Three",
> part
> > of which (but not the good part) can be read in Vol. Five of the
> Collected
> > Works in English (Vol. Four in Russian):
> >
> > Во-первых, мы должны предположить, что все перемены, все события,
> > совершающиеся в период этого кризиса, группируются вокруг какого-либо
> > новообразования переходного типа. Следовательно, когда мы будем
> > анализировать симптомы кризиса, мы должны хотя бы предположительно
> ответить
> > на вопрос, что нового возникает в указанное время и какова судьба
> > новообразования, которое исчезает после него. Затем мы должны
> рассмотреть,
> > какая смена центральных и побочных линий развития здесь происходит. И
> > наконец, оценить критический возраст с точки зрения зоны его ближайшего
> > развития, т. е. отношения к следующему возрасту.
> > "Firstly, we must presume that all of the transformations, all the
> > happenings, that take place during the period of the crisis may be
> grouped
> > around some sort of neoformation of the transitional type. Consequently,
> > when we analyse the symptoms of the crisis, we must at the very least
> > presume to answer the question of what newness emerges at this appointed
> > time and what the fate of these neoformations which disappear afterwards
> > might be. Next, we should consider how the central and peripheral lines
> of
> > development here will unfold. And lastly, we ought to evaluate the
> critical
> > age from the point of view of the zone of its proximal development, i.e.
> > its relationship to the subsequent age."
> >
> >
> > "The zone of its proximal development" is its relationship to the
> > subsequent age! Almost by definition, if you present some
> > pedagogical intervention and it immediately becomes part of the child's
> > psychological system, you are looking at the zone of actual development,
> > and not the zone of proximal development at all.
> >
> > Years ago, I told Mike that I kept mixing up microgenesis and learning.
> He
> > told me "Don't do that!" but he didn't exactly spell out how to avoid it:
> > instead, he arranged for me to review a book on Ganzheitpsychologie that
> > left me more confused than ever. So I think that's still what we need to
> do
> > now: but one way to start is simply to kick learning out of the ZPD.
> >
> >
> > David Kellogg
> >
> > Macquarie University
> > .
> >
> > On Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 1:44 AM, Arturo Escandon <
> > arturo.escandon@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Thank you for this David.
> > >
> > > I agree with what you are saying at many levels.
> > >
> > > Unfortunately, the kind of assessment I introduced did not have
> > > significant learning components. So the evaluation part of the
> > > assessment is not giving me much data about microgenesis but about
> > > ontogenesis. The "outcome" is not the result of the learning component
> > > for sure.
> > >
> > > My bet is that the links between L1 and L2 (which allow students to go
> > > beyond sound perception of words) are possible because of development
> > > in high school. More to do with L1 development. Again, the kind of
> > > interventions I am allowed to make in the classroom are very narrow
> > > and the structure and shape of the study programme prevents me from
> > > doing large longitudinal studies.
> > >
> > > I agree the notion of DA as it is used in the SLA literature presents
> > > many problems.
> > >
> > >
> > > Arturo
> > >
> > >
> > > On 11 October 2016 at 05:17, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > > > Arturo:
> > > >
> > > > Dynamic assessment is a really good example of what I'm talking
> about.
> > > > Dynamic assessment is supposedly based on the ZPD. But I think there
> > are
> > > > three linked ways in which it is actually based on a distortion of
> the
> > > ZPD.
> > > >
> > > > a) Dynamic assessment looks at microgenesis, not ontogenesis. I think
> > the
> > > > idea was originally that the microgenetic perturbations that were
> > picked
> > > up
> > > > in DA were, actually, predictive of the "next zone of development".
> But
> > > > there are two reasons why this has not happened. Firstly, there
> hasn't
> > > been
> > > > a clear demarcation between learning and development, and the idea
> > > > that what the child can do today with assistance will be done by the
> > > child
> > > > independently tomorrow--literally, in twenty-four hours--is just too
> > > > attractive to people like Matt Poehner and Jim Lantolf. Secondly,
> there
> > > > hasn't been a clear scheme for figuring out what the next zone of
> > > > development really is (it's there in Vygotsky's pedological lectures,
> > but
> > > > these haven't been translated yet).
> > > >
> > > > b) Dynamic assessment is "dynamic" and not diagnostic. It's
> interesting
> > > to
> > > > compare the two Russian versions of Vygotsky's pedological lectures:
> > > >
> > > > https://www.marxists.org/russkij/vygotsky/pedologia/
> > > lektsii-po-pedologii.pdf
> > > >
> > > > https://www.marxists.org/russkij/vygotsky/cw/pdf/vol4.pdf
> > > >
> > > > Compare 2001: 191 with 1984: 260 (and also the English version, 1998:
> > > > 199!). It's not just that the Russian editors insist on replacing
> > "test"
> > > > with "task"--it's that they consistently replace "diagnostic" with
> > > > "dynamic", even where this leads to redundant headings and total
> > > nonsense.
> > > > Why? Well, because in the Soviet scheme of things, the ZPD is NOT
> > > > diagnostic: it's dynamic. That means that a personality is infinitely
> > > > malleable and tomorrow's development, with the right kind of
> mediation,
> > > can
> > > > become today's. This is something that DA has largely adopted from
> its
> > > > Soviet roots....but it's not Vygotsky.
> > > >
> > > > c) As a result DA has to reject the core of Vygotsky's method: for
> > > > Vygotsky, structure is to be explained by function, but function MUST
> > be
> > > > explained by history, by development. Suppose I have two children.
> One
> > > > learns, the other doesn't. The structural explanation is simply that
> > the
> > > > first one has the right mental structures to learn and the second
> does
> > > not.
> > > > The functional explanation is that the first has the right functional
> > > > motivation (putative career, middle class aspirations, etc) while the
> > > other
> > > > does not. But the sad truth is that the vast majority of learning
> > > > difficulties really are developmental. I don't think that means that
> > they
> > > > are destiny. But I do think it means that prevention is a whole lot
> > > easier
> > > > than cure. In DA, development is Markovian: the present and the
> future
> > > are
> > > > linked causally--but not the past and the present: it's a weird
> > inversion
> > > > of Aristotle's belief that the past was determined but the future is
> > > > intrinsically non-determinable.
> > > >
> > > > David Kellogg
> > > > Macquarie University
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On Mon, Oct 10, 2016 at 3:52 PM, Arturo Escandon <
> > > arturo.escandon@gmail.com>
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> David,
> > > >>
> > > >> In my research about dynamic assessment I have been able to spot a
> > > >> moment students reorganise L1 and L2 concepts (related to urbanistic
> > > >> and architectural city features) in such a way that they no longer
> > > >> "perceive" the sounds of words. Students who do not arrive to that
> > > >> reorganisation are not able to escape from the perceptual challenge
> of
> > > >> oral utterances.
> > > >>
> > > >> The first group of students tend to mediate their linguistic
> > > >> production either in ideograms or Spanish-alphabet written words
> when
> > > >> asked to take notes. The second group tend to use the Japanese
> > > >> syllabic system to transliterate sounds.
> > > >>
> > > >> Best
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >> Arturo Escandón
> > > >>
> > > >> On 9 October 2016 at 07:21, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> > > >> > When I read materials on Vygotsky, particularly in applied
> > > linguistics or
> > > >> > TESOL, I always get the "four timescales" (phylogenetic,
> > sociogenetic,
> > > >> > ontogenetic, and microgenetic) from Mescharyakov's wonderful
> article
> > > on
> > > >> > Vygotsky's terminology. At first, in the vain hope that it would
> > help
> > > us
> > > >> to
> > > >> > distinguish better between ontogenetic development and
> microgenetic
> > > >> > learning, I used this myself (see Song and Kellogg 2011).
> > > >> >
> > > >> > Now I think that was a mistake. The term "microgenesis" was around
> > > when
> > > >> > Vygotsky was alive and he certainly knew about it: it's a constant
> > > >> feature
> > > >> > of Gestaltist studies of perception. It's also strongly associated
> > > with
> > > >> the
> > > >> > Nazi psychology of Leipzig. Vygotsky knows about the term and
> > doesn't
> > > use
> > > >> > it, and I think he's got good reasons.
> > > >> >
> > > >> > Even where LSV agrees with the Gestaltists (Kohler, Koffka, Lewin,
> > > >> > Wertheimer, Selz--they weren't all Nazis!) he doesn't seem to use
> > the
> > > >> term
> > > >> > microgenesis. And actually, he's quite interested in Nazi
> psychology
> > > and
> > > >> > not afraid to quote it, although he bitterly, scathingly,
> denounces
> > > >> > Jaensch, Krueger, Ach, Kroh and others in "Fascism in
> > > Psychoneurology". I
> > > >> > think he doesn't use "microgenesis" because it conflates external
> > > >> > perception with perceiving meaning.
> > > >> >
> > > >> > Halliday, who also uses "phylogenetic" and "ontogenetic", calls
> his
> > > >> "micro"
> > > >> > scale logogenesis: the creation of semantics (as opposed to
> > > biological,
> > > >> > social, or psychological semiosis). Take Zaza's article. At a
> > > particular
> > > >> > point, the participants become uninterested in perceptual high
> > > fidelity
> > > >> and
> > > >> > much more interested in meaning--what will Gogo think if she sees
> > that
> > > >> her
> > > >> > daughter-in-law is using mechanical means for nursing?
> > > >> >
> > > >> > Of course, semantic meaning is always linked to perceptual
> meaning.
> > > But
> > > >> > "linked" never means equal or mutual or fully reciprocal: the
> > specific
> > > >> > weight is first on one side and then on the other. Microgenesis is
> > > what
> > > >> you
> > > >> > get in eye tests, and logogenesis is what you get when you are
> > reading
> > > >> > Zaza's article (and when you are reading this post).
> > > >> >
> > > >> > David Kellogg
> > > >> > Macquarie University
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > >
> > >
> >
>
>
>
> --
>
> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object
> that creates history. Ernst Boesch
>