Re: [xmca] change in education

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Sat Jul 30 2005 - 08:23:28 PDT

Hi Donna--
 I totally agree concerning the POTENTIAL of using CHAT for design of
activities, but its a hard look at the barriers that the Kozulin (sorry for
the mis-spelling of the file name)
discussion of Davydov's curriculum made me think about in light of the
discussion about barriers to
changes in adult behaviors needed to produce the kinds of interactions that,
theoretically, could be
developmentally generative.
 For example: "To put it bluntly, if a student in the 1970's were to take a
strictly conceptual-theoretical
attitude toward the study of Soviet history (history is one domain that
davydov's ideas were and are
being applied to), he or she would most probably be purged from the school
as a dissident and if old
enough could end up in Siberian exile."
 Now apply this statement to the CURRENT situation in the US. We do not have
the Russian tradition
of sending people to far-off dangerous environments to rid society of them,
but we certainly have our
ways of disciplining dissidents. That currently includes people who believe
in evolution in many parts
of the country and very specifically, it applies to the writing of textbooks
about American history. At
present the wife of the vice-president, who has a say in such matters,
amazingly, has decreed that
only textbooks that teach the "traditonal history of the US" should be
allowed. That traditional history
tells us that Davy Crockett was a hero, forgets that in WWII it was the US
and Britain who created a
deliberate policy of targeting civilians as legitimate targets for
destruction, which our massive
airforces carried out in places like Dresden and, famously, Hiroshima and
Nagasaki (anniversaries
coming up).
 I am awaiting with great interest the insights of people in the discussion
who have, correctly, linked real
changes in education to the need for teachers to change. But if the effort
stops there, history has some
very clear lessons for us about how far the well intentioned changes will
 Good luck in your work! If we want to understand history, trying to change
it is a pretty good heuristic. Where
have you published resarch on developing AT models of innovation in diverse
settings? Perhaps we could
post for discussion and all learn something from it.

 On 7/29/05, Russell, Donna L <> wrote:
> Hello Everyone
> In reference to the article sent my mike cole on kozlyn and davidoff on
> change in education:
> I have previously taught for 14 years in a variety of classrooms including
> St. Louis Public schools. I have a background in instructional design and
> educational technology. I currently study how teachers implement change in
> their classrooms- primarily their use of technology - using activity theory.
> Here at UMKC I am implementing research of urban classrooms in the Kansas
> City school districts..
> I sincerely believe that there is a potential for a paradigm shift in
> education by developing constructivist-based learning environmnents based on
> cog theory and embedding advanced learning technologies in a meaningful and
> an authentic manner. It has been my experience that these educational
> experiences are productive in suburban, rural, and urban schools. However,
> there are many barriers for teachers who wish to innovate in urban settings.
> I attempt through my SC research design to develop AT-based models of
> effective innovation in diverse educational settings so these models can be
> used to develop profesisonal development programs in varied educational
> settings so educators can innovate successfully and serve their increasingly
> diverse students productively.
> Donna
> Donna L. Russell, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor
> Instructional Technology
> Curriculum and Instructional Leadership
> 309 School of Education
> University of Missouri-Kansas City
> Kansas City, MO 64110
> (office) 816.235.5871
> (cell) 314.210.6996
> _______________________________________________
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