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[Xmca-l] Re: zone of next development
I'm just finishing up a paper on this. Let me share a bit with you, since
we've shared so much good stuff of yours on this list.
A Korean mother takes two children for a routine checkup. While the
seven-year-old is tending to the doctor, she plays a game with the three
year old: she is trying to persuade her to switch names with her older
brother for a day.
The little one, who we'll call Number Three, is adamant. Names cannot be
switched. Once given, a name cannot be changed. The mother remonstrates,
reminds her that in role play she often allows herself to be called
"princess" or some other name. The child does not recognize this as an
instance of name changing (just as Vygotsky noted that three year olds who
play with dolls do not regard the doll as anything other than a doll--they
do not imagine that they are parenting the doll). The mother reminds her
that at the preschool she goes to, all of the adults have nicknames,
including her mother. It emerges that the child does not know her mother's
real name (and does not understand when the doctor calls her mother) and
thinks that the preschool nickname ("Dorandoran" or "Chatterbox") is her
mother's real name. After all, you can't have two names. Can you?
Now the seven-year-old comes out and it's the three-year-old's turn. Here's
Mom: **아 너 이름이 뭐야?
“(Seven), what is your name?”
“(Kim Number Seven.)”
Mom: 진짜? **이 이름, **이한테 **이라고 부르면 돼 안돼? **이한테 **이라고 한 번 불러 볼까?
“Really? Suppose (we) give (Seven's) name to (Three) and call (her Seven),
is that okay or not? Let's call (her Seven) for once and see.”
Seven: 응. 그래.
Mom: 너는 **이라고 부르고, **이한테 **이라고 부르면 안돼?
“So you are going to be called (Three) and (Three) is going to be called
“(I) like (it)””
Mom: 좋아? 그래도 돼, 안돼?
“(You) like (it)? But (is it) right or wrong?”
Mom: 어, 진짜? **아~엄마 이름은 뭐야?
“Oh, really? Hey, (Number Three)! What is Mommy's name?”
What Vygotsky says is that there are different kinds of play. He rejects
Groos' idea that repetitive action games are exploratory play--what Piaget
calls play (e.g. opening and closing a box, rolling a ball, etc.) is not
play because it doesn't involve any imaginary situation. Maybe, from a
Hegelian point of view, it's "play in itself" but not play for others or
play for myself. Number Three has something Vygotsky calls "quasi
play"--that is, play for others, but not for myself, like when a child
tends to a doll, puts it on the potty, even nurses it but reacts with
indignation when you suggest that the child is the doll's mother and the
doll is a daughter. Tending, nursing, pottying--that's just what you do
with a doll, like opening a door or rolling a ball. Number Three doesn't
recognize the imaginary situation at all. Only Seven is really playing.
So--even within play, there are zones of development. I don't think it will
be tomorrow, or next week, or even next year that Three will be able to
play around with names the way that Seven does.
On Thu, Nov 24, 2016 at 2:41 AM, Shirin Vossoughi <email@example.com
> Hi David,
> Thank you for this. How do you think about the ways that "acting a head
> taller" is a concrete experience of one's emergent capabilities / potential
> in the moment? (in the context of play, or through generative forms of
> Does this align in your view with the idea that "the child will not be a
> head taller than himself in a week or two" or does it complicate the ways
> we view this phenomenon as an experience?
> On Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 7:29 PM, David Kellogg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > Peter:
> > The French translation is "zone prochaine de developpement", i.e. the
> > zone of development. Francoise Seve explains why--it is because the "next
> > zone of development" does not refer to any particular skill or knowledge
> > even metalinguistic reflection that the child is going to have in the
> > course of development; it refers very precisely to the functions which
> > be the most rapidly developing functions in the next age level, according
> > to the schema that Vygotsky was working out in "The Problem of Age"
> (Vol. 5
> > in English, p. 196). This is completely confirmed by a remark that
> > makes at the beginning of the lecture on the Crisis at Three (p. 283 in
> > English Collected Works):
> > ""...(W)e must assume that all changes and all events that happen during
> > the period of this crisis are grouped around some neoformation of a
> > transitional type. Consequently, when we analyse the symptoms of the
> > crisis, we msut answer, albeit conditionally, the question as to what it
> > that is new that appears during the indicated time and what is the fate
> > the neoformation that disappears after it. Then we must consider what
> > change is occurring in the central and peripheral lines of development.
> > Finally, we must evaluate the critical age from the point of view of the
> > zone of its proximal development, that is, the relation to subsequent
> > growth".
> > This is why the ZPD is ALWAYS measured in years, something that very few
> > Western people who invoke the concept have ever noted, even though it is
> > quite explicit in every place that the ZPD is invoked. Even when the ZPD
> > spoken of somewhat loosely, (e.g. "What the child can do with assistance
> > today he will be able to do without assistance tomorrow", or "in play the
> > child is a head taller than himself") it is very clear that years are
> > meant. Tomorrow does not and cannot mean 24 hours later, and the child
> > not be a head taller than himself in a week or two.
> > David Kellogg
> > Macquarie University
> > On Wed, Nov 23, 2016 at 10:22 AM, Peter Smagorinsky <email@example.com>
> > > I'm watching the version of The Butterflies of Zagorsk that Mike
> > > generously shared from the UCSD archives. I give it 4 stars. It would
> > 5,
> > > but the copy is pretty bad.
> > >
> > > The narrator consistently refers to the "zone of next development"
> > > illustrated by periodic diagnostic sessions that also involved
> > > with deaf and blind kids learning how to speak with their hands on
> > > another's hands.
> > >
> > > Zone of Next Development seems such a better term than ZPD. Proximal is
> > > too ambiguous, and so allows for just about any learning of anything
> > anyhow
> > > to be illustrative of the ZPD. "Next" instead really emphasizes the
> > > long-term growth that Vygotsky had in mind, as I understand his
> > >
> > > But it's proximal in all the translations. Any help in understanding
> > > Thx,p
> > >