I found the article of the shaping quote quite intering. It discusses
what about shaping Skinner found so darn interesting. It turns out what
surprised him so much was "mediation". It was not the fact that this or
that behavior was reinforced - that was done earlier through
approximation - but in the fact that a hand not a mechanical defice was
doing the rewarding.
"In defining verbal behavior as behavior reinforced through the
mediation of other persons we do not, and cannot, specify any one form,
mode, or medium. Any movement capable of affecting another organism may
be verbal." (Skinner, 1957, p. 14
Ana Marjanovic-Shane wrote:
> It would be fascinating to compare concepts like Skinner's "shaping"
> to "scaffolding" to ZPD.
> >From the little quote by Skinner about how they taught a pigeon to
> bowl, and from the descriptions of the mother-child interactions
> (further down), there seems to emerge at least one big difference in
> the two types of learning:
> Pigeons learn within almost closed feedback loop between their
> behavior and the "reward" -- it is learning in a given situation and
> by "blind" trial and error.
> Children (people) have the "third" component, which mediates between
> the behavior and its "outcome" -- symbolic behavior -- language and
> other symbolic devices.
> I think that the process of mediation, or in other words, symbolic
> tools are that what is being constructed in ZPD. The learning is not
> direct -- ZPD is a "place" where you focus on construction of tools
> for a particular knowledge domain -- tools that can be used to
> actually get a grip on a particular domain of the reality. That is why
> it so often seems that children and adults already can do/understand
> something in play while it is still impossible in "reality".
> The question is -- can we observe learning through construction of
> symbolic tools in animals?? Or some animals? Ability to construct and
> use symbolic tools becomes an interesting evolutionary difference
> between humans and other species. The question is, is there an
> intermediary step between learning by a direct feedback loop and
> learning through a mediated ZPD? How does this new way of leaning and
> understanding come into existence in the evolution?
-- Website: http://nateweb.info/ Blog: http://levvygotsky.blogspot.com/ Email: willthereallsvpleasespeakup who-is-at nateweb.info
"The zone of proximal development defines those functions that have not yet matured but are in the process of maturation, functions that will mature tomorrow but are currently in an embryonic state. These functions could be termed the buds or flowers of development rather than the "fruits" of development. The actual developmental level characterizes mental development retrospectively, while the zone of proximal development characterizes mental development prospectively." - L.S.V.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Feb 01 2005 - 01:00:05 PST