Re: Question concerning Vygotsky

Date: Mon Feb 23 2004 - 05:16:17 PST

>> I think an interesting contrast comes from Heath's Ways with Words, where
> the fundamentalist white Christian families raised their children with an
> orientation to reading the Bible as indisputably true. This orientation to
> the printed word as true made it difficult for the kids to approach
> schoolwork in which the printed word was ambiguous and the impetus for
> discussion.<<
I read this classic book as part of the reading assignments given by Prof. S.
Blum-Kulka. One of the central differences in the literacy culture of Talmudic-
schools in the Christian countries vs. the Talmudic-schools in the Muslim
countries is the legitimacy for personal creativeness in interpreting sacred
texts. I the Christian countries (my personal cultural background) a Jew must
read the texts and only quote a canonized commentary he is forbidden to ask
any question that isn't strictly reading comprehension and certainly he may
show now creativeness in interpreting what he reads. Further more general
education is generally considered not legitimate (an excellent example is the
PhD dissertation of Dr. Tamar El-Or from the department of Anthropology at the
Hebrew University, Jerusalem). On the other hand in the Muslim countries a Jew
is encouraged to ask questions, offer personal interpretations, argue and
debate, he is also encouraged to acquire a general education and have a broad
spectrum of interests. My personal belief is that 'Western' traditional Jewish
culture has been influenced by the general cultural climate of traditional

Dear Prof. Cole,
I have seen from your web-pages that you're the author of the study concerning
the literacy of the Vai. I remember this book as being authored by 'Cole &
Scribner', but somehow I didn't connect. Your work supports my personal
preference for the 'holistic' anthropological research method especially in
psychology (I'm a provincial who lives in a rural farming community). Scholars
like yourself and Vygotsky have changed my negative attitude towards the
behavioral sciences

This mail sent through IMP:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Mar 01 2004 - 01:00:08 PST