Re: development: loss, destruction, transformation

From: Yrjö Engeström (
Date: Tue Mar 29 2005 - 00:09:25 PST

Mike and colleagues, I can identify my thinking in Mike's description
of the breakaway tradition. Can you give hints to other authors and
readings that would seem to adhere to that tradition?

Yrjö Engeström

David Preiss kirjoittaa maanantaina, 28. maaliskuuta 2005, kello 23:42:

> Hi Mike,
> Your description of the breaking away tradition is, I think, what
> explicit instruction should do in the schools. On the other hand, it is
> a very nice proposal of how sociocultural learning can move development
> forward (and not viceversa). Thanks for the clarification, David
> David Preiss
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mike Cole []
> Sent: Friday, March 25, 2005 4:17 PM
> To: Xmca
> Subject: development: loss, destruction, transformation
> Hmmm, David.
> Your note concerning whether the transformation of prior knowledge
> systems a la Piaget or Vygotsky as a "synonym" for "development as
> breaking away" (Yrjo
> title) or loss, or
> destruction of the old seems to have fallen on still waters that
> remained unmoved.
> I think you have a point. Developmental change in these approaches ( I
> am not sure I would include Siegler here, although I find his work very
> interesting, except his difficulty in acknowledging the source of ideas
> about the use of microgenetic methods) does entail transformation, as
> when LSV talks about scientific concepts reorganizing everyday ones.
> But
> I don't think that is what Yrjo and others have in mind. They are
> talking about throwing out prior cultural constraints on development
> which presumably means an markedly new process of development.
> I would lean toward Peg's idea of mutual appropriation in which both
> the
> sociocultural enviroment of the child and the child are co-participants
> actively seeking to change the other to their own ends. This process
> can
> lead to marked discontinuities on both sides and the system as a whole
> through inter-laced processes of transformation.
> Another point. Old "stages" do not go away. Scientific concepts do not
> entirely reorganize everyday ones, egocentricism is a life-long issue,
> etc. I have one paper written with Eugene Subbotsky in a Swiss journal
> where I give an example of kids and undergrads playing a game where
> several kinds of activity usually thought of as following each other in
> ontogeny all organize the children's behavior/thinking at different
> moments in a single event at different moments in unpredictable
> sequence. Eugene's example is from his work on moral development.
> We some advocate of the strong "breaking awayt" tradition to get into
> the discussion so we can all be pushed in our views. mike

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