Re: breaking away still

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Thu Mar 31 2005 - 09:36:14 PST

This thread is branching in a lot of directions, Doris.
One thought I had upon reading your note and those from yesterday was
the desirability,
if possible, of trying to keep straight what we mean by development
and by learning. It seems like a lot of theoretical lenses are being
applied by different contributors using
the same terms.

In a prior note I proferred a definition of development as
interfuncational reorganization
within an organism accompanied by reorganization of organism and
environment. This
is distinguished from learning in my view. In earlier dicussions, we
noted Seth Chaiklin's
criticism of people who use the terms zone of proximal development
(zoped) to refer
only to learning, thereby watering down/distorting Vygotksy's ideas.

Those who think of learning as changing participation in communities
of practice may well not want to make a learning/development
distinction (Rogoff/Lave/Wenger?).

I am simply uncertain about Yrjo's views concerning breaking away and different
notions of development. Sometimes it seems more Vygotskian to me, sometimes
more along the horizontal dimension of participation in new

Anyway, more reading to do, it seems!

On Thu, 31 Mar 2005 12:22:59 -0500, Dorie Evensen <> wrote:
> On Thu, 31 Mar 2005 11:54:10 -0500, Dorie Evensen <> wrote:
> > Mike - A possible candidate for empirical light on the "breaking away"
> > topic (although I'm not sure how closely this aligns.
> > I co-authored an article in 2001 that reported a semester-long study of 6
> > medical students in a PBL curriculum. Using a "grounded theory" approach, I
> > invoked the concept of "stance" as a way that these students differentially
> > engaged with this (for them) very strange curriculum (albeit, one they had
> > selected, but on very little solid information). This was during my
> > pre-CHAT days, but I was toying with the notion of "action" - Only one of
> > the students (interestingly, a theatre arts major), almost from the first
> > day, "transacted" with the environment (dominated by the curriculum) in a
> > way that appeared to "break away" from ways of learning (and dare I say
> > being - yes, I threw "identity" into the mix) pursued by others.
> > Here's the citation if anyone is interested:
> > Evensen, D. H., Salisbury-Blennon, J. D., Glenn, J. (2001). A qualitative
> > study of six medical students in a problem-based curriculum: Toward a
> > situated model of self-regulation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93,
> > 659-676.
> >
> > On another note, I have been (and continue to) conduct research in legal
> > education. The issue of "breaking away" in that context could be most
> > useful in trying to understand this mysterious process conventionally know
> > as (but little understood) "thinking like a lawyer." If any listeners would
> > be interested in a side-bar (allusion is intended) on this issue, please let
> > me know..
> > Thanks,
> > Dorie

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