Re: [xmca] change in education

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Sun Jul 31 2005 - 08:07:14 PDT

Dear Dr. Russell
 I hope it is clear that I, too believe that there are teachers out there
who care deeply about their student, will do anything they
can (including working a lot of overtime and spending their own money) to
make their students lives potentially more
productive........ Where, perhaps, we differ, is about whether the sorts of
changes we are discussing, changes that
might be called "developmenal" in that they involve qualitative shifts in
the system of education, can be achieved entirely
through bottom up processes operating in a part of the social order. With
respects to all sorts of developmental phenomena
(I take learning to read to be one), it seems like a combination of top down
and bottom up processes (a dialectical process,
perhaps)? are needed.
 That said, might you consider having your article, "A paradigm shift: A
case study of innovation in an educational setting" be
 linked to the xma "papers for discussion" page for discussion when the LCA
discussion has run its course (we have still
not fully incorporated Bernstein, whose work strikes me as very important to
the discussion). The paper is relevant in lots of
ways to XMCA, I think. What do you think?
 On another matter, if you would not mind, I would find it easier to refer
to you as Donna since you sign your name that way. The
use of honorific titles in this medium exacerbates the tendencies to create
hierarchies where they need not exist. There are certainly
wide variations in expertise, but they are multi-dimensional in the highest
degree. For example, you have expertise as a classroom
teacher while I have never been one and do not believe that I have any right
to give advice to teachers about how to teach under the
conditions of their work, which I find far too difficult to deal with. So
let me consider you an expert from whom I can learn, especially
when, as you have done, you make your voice heard to the benefit of this
community of learners.

 On 7/30/05, Donna Russell <> wrote:
> hi dr cole
> i believe there are teachers out there- i was one and i work with them-
> who care very deeply about their students- they will do anything that works
> to make their students' lifes potentially more productive including fighting
> against the political climate, understanding the changing dynamics of their
> classrooms and the financial constraints- i work to help them - change in
> education will happen- i believe- in classrooms- as a bottom-up process- in
> the types and qualities of the interactions of teachers and their students-
> that is the engine that drives a program of change-
> i use chat to understand classrooms because when i became a doc student
> in ed psych it was the only research methodology that made sense to me as a
> teacher- i had an ephiphany when i read engestrom's book- i knew it would
> allow me to make sense of the interactions of the dynamics of a classrooms
> i have published several times-i did publish a short case study analysis
> of a real change in beliefs an urban classroom- i have attached this article
> to an email to you- i was published in the online internation journal of
> instructional technology
> i really do not feel qualified to post it to xmca i have only had my phd
> for 2 years- i have presented many times (including computer supported
> collaborative learning and i will present a paper at iscar) but i have only
> published 5 times in the past 2 years since i started at umkc.
> if you feel that this article or another would be of interest please let
> me know -i have sent a much more in-depth article in regards to my research
> design to mca last september- but i am not sure of its status- perhaps it
> would be of more interest -
> thanks so much for your response
> donna
> Donna L. Russell, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor
> Instructional Technology
> Curriculum and Instructional Leadership
> Suite 309
> School of Education
> University of Missouri-Kansas City
> Kansas City, MO 64110
> (cell) 314.210.6996
> (office) 816.235.5871
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* Mike Cole <>
> *To:*
> *Sent:* Saturday, July 30, 2005 10:23 AM
> *Subject:* Re: [xmca] change in education
> Hi Donna--
> I totally agree concerning the POTENTIAL of using CHAT for design of
> educational
> 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
> go.
> 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.
> mike
> 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
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > xmca mailing list
> >
> >
> >
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