RE: Gredler & Shields vs. Gutierrez & Lemke

From: Cunningham, Donald J. (
Date: Fri Apr 23 2004 - 14:07:43 PDT

This is nicely framed Bill. Some scholars operate in the "Great Pumpkin"
mode, seeking out and punishing those who are not sincere in their
attention to a particular text or theorist. If the claim is to fidelity,
then this is entirely appropriate. I for one have no hesitation in
scavenging ideas to help me with a current problem, even if I may adapt
or exapt them for my own purposes.........djc

[In the interest of international understanding, I should point out that
the Great Pumpkin is a character in the Peanuts comic strip, a mythical
figure who is said to appear in the pumpkin patch on Halloween to those
children who sincerely believe in him]

Don Cunningham
Indiana University

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Barowy []
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2004 2:12 PM
Subject: Gredler & Shields vs. Gutierrez & Lemke

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
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 texts are of two genre's, book and research article, and this makes
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
although it is a curiously coincidental and proportion reflection of the

length of their respective posts to xmca! Both authors focus on speech
"effective classroom practice" (Kris, p 467) -- and most importantly
the roles of BOTH teachers and students in making this practice happen.
note the enduring patterns of interaction, called 'activity structures"
and 'scripts' (Kris). Both see the struggle between established
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
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
and which, if we are to believe the books "Thought and Language" (TL)
"Mind in Society" (MS) would make theoretical connections between the
zone of
proximal development and heteroglossia or perhaps more generally
Yet, Gredler &Shields, who reference neither TL nor MS (substantively)
'Vygotsky did not include the assistance of another in his definition
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
Vygotsky). Their paper is strangly reminiscent of the "dominant script"
Kris writes about, adapted here to refer to the competitive and
literary actions one finds in high profile journals as the educational
researcher. Most noteworthy is the form of the title which constructs
as ignorant (Silencing those without cultural knowledge?), the monologic

exclusion of all other relevant works to the attack on Glassman's paper,
MS, TL, etc., pulling from selected quotes to bolster claims without
consideration of the greater theoretical context in which the quote
(for example not once were the transformations from interpsychological
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
fall into enacting the patterns of cultural practice, and it takes a bit
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
inferences, agreed, that are not as close to the words of Vygotsky as
& Shields would like. Glassman's work seems to be more abductive --
at the comparison and contrasts in a plausible manner between Vygosky
Dewey. It is a form of constructive integration, an attempt to form a
space" between Deweyan and Vygotskian scholars.

Victor has posted on the Glassman-Gredler & Shields debate as a
process, and at one level I can agree. Yet, there has to be something
finer texture in social change than just the synthesis of opposing


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