Re: Gredler & Shields vs. Gutierrez & Lemke

From: Peter Smagorinsky (
Date: Fri Apr 23 2004 - 13:01:35 PDT

well done Bill--your analysis is very close to my reading, though far more
sophisticated with the additional perspective that Gutierrez provides about
the third space. Peter
At 03:11 PM 4/23/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>I've rarely been able to read only one text at a time, unless it was
>non-academic as fiction, biography, etc... So this late, late response to
>Kris' article is one in which i have printed and online texts surrounding me
>and I'm doing this intertextual thing, actually trying to read between the
>The texts are of two genre's, book and research article, and this makes a
>difference because Jay Lemke's *Talking Science*, being a book, is less
>limited by space, and as a bound unit goes into more detail than Kris
>Gutierrez' *Script, counterscript...*. This is not a criticism of either,
>although it is a curiously coincidental and proportion reflection of the
>length of their respective posts to xmca! Both authors focus on speech for
>"effective classroom practice" (Kris, p 467) -- and most importantly note
>the roles of BOTH teachers and students in making this practice happen. Both
>note the enduring patterns of interaction, called 'activity structures" (Jay)
>and 'scripts' (Kris). Both see the struggle between established cultural
>practice, "reading the Los Angeles Times every morning" (Kris); "talking
>science" (Jay), with their accompanied semiotic systems, and the personal and
>social semiotics of the students. Both authors invoke heteroglossia in
>describing these differences, and both advocate breaking durable patterns of
>interaction i.e. "making trouble" (Jay, p210), creating a "disruptive form
>of underlife" (kris, p467).
>Neither Kris nor Jay address the "zone of proximal development", which
>features highly in the article by Gredler & Shields. Both Jay and Kris
>effectively draw upon units of analysis that extend beyond the individual,
>and which, if we are to believe the books "Thought and Language" (TL) and
>"Mind in Society" (MS) would make theoretical connections between the zone of
>proximal development and heteroglossia or perhaps more generally dialogism.
>Yet, Gredler &Shields, who reference neither TL nor MS (substantively) insist
>'Vygotsky did not include the assistance of another in his definition of
>ZPD' (p. 22), and so they, it would seem, would preclude constructive
>integration of the the work of Bakhtin and Vygotsky (as well as Dewey and
>Vygotsky). Their paper is strangly reminiscent of the "dominant script" that
>Kris writes about, adapted here to refer to the competitive and exclusive
>literary actions one finds in high profile journals as the educational
>researcher. Most noteworthy is the form of the title which constructs others
>as ignorant (Silencing those without cultural knowledge?), the monologic
>exclusion of all other relevant works to the attack on Glassman's paper, i.e.
>MS, TL, etc., pulling from selected quotes to bolster claims without
>consideration of the greater theoretical context in which the quote rests
>(for example not once were the transformations from interpsychological to
>intrapsychological discussed, which might have brought in the role of
>adults/others in the zoped).
>Mind you, this is not so much a criticism of Gredler & Shields and their
>article as much as it is of the genre in which they write. Although, when I
>look at Gredler's listed publications, she has established a track-record of
>locating and attacking "misperceptions". Even higher educational academics
>fall into enacting the patterns of cultural practice, and it takes a bit of
>trouble making and disruption to break out of the status quo. I think
>Glassman does some creative breaking out and this could be why Gredler &
>Shields attack, arguably acting to sustain the staus quo. Glassman makes
>inferences, agreed, that are not as close to the words of Vygotsky as Gredler
>& Shields would like. Glassman's work seems to be more abductive -- looking
>at the comparison and contrasts in a plausible manner between Vygosky and
>Dewey. It is a form of constructive integration, an attempt to form a "third
>space" between Deweyan and Vygotskian scholars.
>Victor has posted on the Glassman-Gredler & Shields debate as a dialectical
>process, and at one level I can agree. Yet, there has to be something of
>finer texture in social change than just the synthesis of opposing poles.

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