Re: Generalizing in Interaction

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Tue May 31 2005 - 10:14:45 PDT

Might you say more? That is too condensed for me, Peg. I sort of know what
metalinguistic is, but not
epilinguistic. And am unsure how either speaks to rising to the concrete
idea that requires logical analysis
of the domain as a starting point.

On 5/31/05, Peg Griffin <> wrote:
> 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.
> Peg
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* Mike Cole <>
> *To:* Xmca <>
> *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.
> mike

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