I wonder if the distinction/relation between epilinguistic and metalinguistic is relevant. Gombert's 1992 Metalinguistic Development (London: Harvester Wheatsheaf) is a source about epilinguistic; I chased it down because of Goswami's use of it.
----- Original Message -----
From: Mike Cole
Sent: Monday, May 30, 2005 11:00 AM
Subject: Generalizing in Interaction
In reflecting on the earlier discussion of Jurow's article on generalizing in interaction I come
away with a feeling of incompleteness. Maybe its ingendered by the fact that some people
appreciated the careful description of classroom practices and Jurow's approach to understanding
generalizing as a consequence of changes of modes of participation and communication, in particular
the patterns labelled "linking" and "conjecturing." Others seemed to be looking for an analysis of generalization
as "rising to the concrete" a la Davydov and apparently did not take much away from the Jurow approach.
Looking back at the article, the critical disjuncture (if I am correct) is signaled on p. 281 where Jurow contrasts
her approach to development as formation of "decontextualized knowledge" (her quotation marks) and generalization
as "the product of accurated mental representations.... and "an individual cognitive activity performed to recognize
and acquire objective categories." (My quotes)
She substitutes instead a "situated or practice perspective, (from which) abstracting is conceptualized not as "moving
away from" situations, but as a product of local practices." (her quotes and mine)
I gather that Michael Roth and others which to substitute "rising to the concrete" for "product of local practices."
I wonder if his is equivalent to a shift from the use of Vygotsky to Davyodov. For example, Vygotsky (Collected works,
Vol 3, p. 138) writes
The law: the form of generalization corresponds to the form of communication. "Communication and genralization
are internally connected. ....
Generalization. What is generalization? Generalization is the exclusion from visual structures and the incusion in thought structures,
semantic structures. ....
Now if there were someone on XMCA interested in discourse theories of mathematical thinking, who knows, we might get some
help with disentangling these issues. Are the approaches contradictory? Complentary? Incoherent? Out of date? On the cusp
of the future?
I am unsure. By convention, I believe we are on the cusp of summer where I live. I am going for a walk, summer style, to prepare
for those examinations and grant deadlines!
Unless there is more to be written, lets examine language and activity.
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