David-- It will take some time to be able to come to grips with all that you
I believe it necessary to go back to your article and reconstruct the
so that we don't simply end up arguing about the color of the fish being
I am tied up teaching today, away tomorrow, but hope to get back to this
I confess that I am uncertain whether or not we have made any progress at
on the question of whether, from a vygotskian perspective (as interpreted by
Chaiklin) the changes in Franklin's behavior constitute a zone of proximal
development or not.
On 6/5/06, David H Kirshner <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Mike, thanks for your extended reply to my post. I'll try to summarize and
> then respond to each of the concerns/questions you raise.
> 1. What's wrong with psychological theories, such as Vygotsky's, that are
> dialectical in nature, that attempt to treat together "as two sides of a
> single coin" aspects of learning that are metaphorically distinct.
> As psychological theories, there is nothing wrong such attempts. However,
> the crossdisciplinary approach I am developing distinguishes between
> psychological theorizing and educational theorizing in a new way. The
> idea of crossdisciplinarity is that there are certain culturally given
> metaphorically distinct interpretations of learning that constitute our
> cultural commonsense about learning and that circumscribe our educational
> motives for student learning: Learning as habituation; learning as
> (conceptual) construction; and learning as enculturation. These relate,
> broadly, to the educational interests in teaching skills, concepts, and
> dispositions, respectively. From here, education and psychology part ways.
> Psychology, as a preparadigmatic science, has as its primary raison d'etre
> the eventual forging of a paradigmatic consensus. There are some branches
> of psychology, like behaviorism (informed by learning as habituation) and
> developmental psychology (informed by learning as construction), that tend
> to be unifocal in their metaphorical interpretation of learning. These
> approaches work outward from locally coherent intuitions within their
> "home" metaphor to try to subsume the other metaphors (e.g., the attempt
> behaviorists in the middle of the last century to subsume concepts in the
> form of linguistically mediated behavior). Other approaches within
> psychology like sociocultural theory, situated cognition theory, and
> constructivism are integrative in that they attempt to span more than one
> metaphorical interpretation of learning. In a sense, the challenge for
> these integrative theories is the inverse of their unifocal counterparts.
> They already encompass broad concerns of the field. Their challenge is to
> coherently articulate principles of learning that span metaphors. Each of
> these approaches (unifocal or integrative) is a legitimate effort toward
> the historically inscribed imperative of achieving a paradigmatic
> for psychology.
> What crossdisciplinarity does is to forge a new relationship between
> psychology and education. In the current hierarchy of disciplines,
> education is a client discipline to psychology, uncritically adopting the
> perspectives of the psychologists within the various schools. In the past
> behaviorism was the dominant psychological paradigm, and educators bought
> the claim that behaviorism could account for learning overall. In the
> current era, the integrative theories hold considerable sway with
> pedagogical theorists despite the fact that the integrative insights are a
> research agenda, not an established accomplishment. (My point in the last
> posting in contrasting the TRANSFORMATION of conceptual structures with
> DISCONTINUITY of modes of participation was to highlight the enormous
> challenges that remain in framing a coherent and comprehensible
> The crossdisciplinary approach is the hard-nosed recognition by educators
> that, yes, psychology does have some local insights to share with us about
> how people learn skills, concepts, and dispositions, but there is no grand
> synthesis. So crossdisciplinarity abandons as unfeasible the current
> interest in articulating notions of "good teaching" that are general,
> seeking, instead to formulate independent accounts of good teaching
> to the separate notions of learning. For pedagogical principles that
> explicate how teaching supports learning depend on having a notion of
> learning that is theoretically coherent.
> 2. How does Vygotsky's notion of imitation come in for special criticism,
> given a crossdisciplinary viewpoint?
> Imitation, in its usual sense, already relates to learning as habituation
> (refinement of skills through repetitive practice) and to learning as
> enculturation (through emulation of culturally more central participants).
> Vygotsky commandeers the construct of imitation to load it down, also,
> some kind of conceptual baggage: "[For Vygotsky] imitation presupposes
> understanding of the structural relations in a problem that is being
> solved" (Chaiklin, 2003, p. 51). Given these triple affordances, it's not
> surprising that Vygotsky would want to make imitation central to his model
> of learning/development in a ZPD. Unfortunately, the enculturational
> interest is sadly underrepresented by a notion of imitation (with its
> attendant implication of volunteerism), to the extent that the ZPD itself
> is much diminished as a resource for thinking about instruction.
> As a dutiful crossdisciplinarian, I set out to examine the metaphor of
> enculturation independently, noting that (unlike the other metaphors) it
> really hasn't received unifocal attention in any psychological school. My
> own examination suggests there are two separate and distinct processes
> typically associated with enculturation. One is a kind of cultural
> immersion, in which, somehow, the dispositional traits of a community are
> adopted without conscious intent by the neophyte. My paradigm example is
> proxemic dispositions ("personal space") which children adopt in the
> context of a national culture without conscious intent, or even notice.
> (But proxemic dispositions do vary from one national culture to the next.)
> The second process is related to acculturation in which an individual
> self-selects into a subculture by consciously emulating dispositional
> traits that are distinctive to that subculture. But the more basic of
> two processes is the first, as conscious strategies of acculturation
> are embedded in an enculturationist process (one can only consciously
> emulate a limited number of cultural traits).
> What I've found is that pedagogically, these two processes subserve
> distinct pedagogical methods for promoting enculturational learning in the
> classroom: Enculturationist teaching relates to (surreptitiously) growing
> target dispositional traits into the classroom microculture;
> Acculturationist teaching relates to developing subculture identity (I'm
> attaching a brief 2004 paper that explores these issues). Taking imitation
> as central to the ZPD, tends to conflate these two pedagogical approaches,
> and to diminish the first.
> 3. Does this shed any light on Franklin's learning to play nice with the
> other kids? ("Franklin cannot remember 5 seconds after he has driven his
> friends from the block corner what he has
> done. ... NOW he can remember!!")
> From a crossdisciplinary perspective, I see the Franklin episode as
> to enculturational learning. Franklin has adopted a new form of
> participation within the context of a cultural milieu. The emphasis on
> remembering and understanding in Paley's account and in Mike's question
> seem to me to be a red herring--the sort that can swim out too easily from
> an integrative perspective on learning. What seems to be going on in the
> episode is that Franklin's identity undergoes some sort of transformation.
> He previously had been interested in cultivating an identity as an
> "expert." Within that identity construction, he focussed on certain
> of his behavior and performance, and had a particular way of evaluating
> responses of others (let's face it, experts aren't always that popular).
> It's hard to analyze exactly what happened to change his identity
> without more data than is provided in Paley's report--several
> come to mind. For instance, the teacher talking about him publicly in the
> 3rd person may have embarrassed/punished him, and suggested that being an
> expert can carry a steep price. Or seeing the skillful way in which his
> teacher imitated him, might have intrigued him into thinking that being a
> famous actor might be a more rewarding identity to pursue. In any event,
> changes in remembering and understanding, which certainly did transpire
> within the episode, seem to be only artifactual to the dynamic change in
> social positioning and identity that this episode is really about.
> (See attached file: PMENA04.pdf)
> "Mike Cole"
> <lchcmike who-is-at gmail.c To: "eXtended Mind,
> Culture, Activity"
> om> <email@example.com>
> Sent by: cc: (bcc: David H
> xmca-bounces who-is-at webe Subject: Re: [xmca] Social
> situation, zpd and Franklin
> 06/04/2006 02:09
> Please respond to
> mcole; Please
> respond to
> "eXtended Mind,
> You introduce a lot of important issues into the discussion, David.
> everyone should
> go back to your paper if we are not engage them properly. At the same
> I am struggling
> with the previously existing poliphony of voices concerning learnng and
> development and the
> question of whether and if so when it makes sense to believe that play can
> create a zone of
> proximal development (where issues of learning and development bring
> round of difficulties).
> When you write: Vygotsky (and sociocultural theory more generally) as
> struggling between
> two basic metaphorical interpretations.... I come away wondering what you
> mean about struggling
> between. Here, an echo of Lois' comment yesterday, I have always thought
> the processes under
> discussion as two sides of a single coin in dialectical relationship to
> other. On the one hand, the
> active subject must operate on the world using "auxiliary means" by means
> which the problematic
> situation is transformed and on the other hand must appropriate those
> in the act of transformaion.
> Do transformation and discontinuity stand in opposition to each other in
> some way as you seem to imply below?
> The construction metaphor, most often
> associated with Piaget-inspired psychological constructivism (e.g., von
> Glasersfeld), sees cognitive structures as developing and maturing through
> a TRANSFORMATIVE process. The enculturational metaphor, reflected in, say,
> Leont'ev's notion of appropriation, sees a DISCONTINUITY between prior
> structures and new ones (as Newman, Griffin, & Cole pointed out in The
> Construction Zone).
> I am unclear here.
> The questions you raise about LSV's use of imitation also caught my
> attention. It has taken me a very long time to get at all interested in
> issue of imitation, but it is currently one of THE hot topics in research
> the nature and presence of culture in chimpanzee social groups (culture is
> defined in this literature as presence of behavioral patterns across
> generations achieved by a mechanism of social learning-- but what is that
> mechanism, and here is where imitation comes in. The following indicates
> distinctions currently in fashion:
> This brings us to the question of how cognition and culture are related
> among non-human primates.
> Attempts to answer this question have focused on the question of the
> cognitive mechanisms of social learning. The general answer given is that
> social learning requires some form of mimesis broadly interpreted as a
> process in which the behavior of one individual comes to be like another
> through some form of contact. But this broad an understanding of mimesis
> little more than restating what one means by a social tradition, since
> different processes can lead to behavioral conformity. Consequently, the
> task of further specifying the processes of mimesis has garnered the bulk
> scholarly attention (Byrne, 2002; Metzoff & Prinz, 2002; Tomasello &
> Rakoczy, 2003; Valsiner, 2000; Whitten, 2000).
> At the most elementary level, groups of the same species living in
> locales may behave differently from each other, but in conformity with
> other, because of differences in their local ecology. Each animal may be
> discovering the solution for itself, by this account.
> In addition, situations may arise when members of a group are attracted to
> the location of conspecifics and, on their own, learn the behaviors that
> others have learned in the same circumstances. For example, they may learn
> that grubs are located in the area, and learn to find the grubs and eat
> them, without any special orientation to the behavior of others. This
> of social learning is termed stimulus* enhancement*.
> A slightly more complex form of social influence is referred to as
> learning*, which occurs when, for instance, an infant chimpanzee observes
> its mother turn over a log and sees that there are grubs under the log.
> However, in such cases, the infant is not focused on the goal-directed
> intentions (strategies) of the mother, but the infant learns something
> objects in the environment and can then, itself, learn about attaining
> The most complex (and most controversial) claims about the source of
> acquiring social traditions in non-human primates are *imitation*, when
> infant attempts to copy the goal-directed strategies of the mother. There
> as yet no consensus on whether non-human primates raised in the wild
> in this form of mimesis (Byrne, 2002).
> Sorry about the wobbly font.
> LSV appears to go further to link imitation to conceptual understanding
> will support success in
> copying goal directed actions. I cannot imitate a calculus teacher
> calculus. My grand daughter
> stuggles to "follow directions" in a closely constrained effort to work
> through an elementary
> algebra problem.... she tries to "imitate" the sequence of actions, she
> understands some of the
> principles required, but not enough to be able to do it on her own. Over
> succeeding sessions, with
> varied examples, the range of problems she can solve by "imitating" what I
> am doing expands and the amount of filling in I have to do decreases. If
> continues to improve, it will not be long before our roles are reversed.
> Zoped? Imitation?
> Franklin cannot remember 5 seconds after he has driven his friends from
> block corner what he has
> done. He hotly denies Vivian's verbal description. She acts it out. NOW he
> can remember!! Not only
> can he remember, he can play Franklin being a social cooperative child in
> the block corner" Imitation?
> On 6/4/06, David H Kirshner <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > What stands out most sharply for me in Chaiklin's summary of Vygotsky's
> > ZPD
> > is the highly specialized and non-intuitive notion of imitation that
> > grounds Vygotsky's approach to learning/development:
> > "Imitation ... is not a mindless copying of actions .... Rather Vygotsky
> > wants to break from a copying view to give a new meaning to imitation --
> > reflecting a new theoretical position -- in which imitation presupposes
> > some understanding of the structural relations in a problem that is
> > solved" (p. 51).
> > From my "crossdisciplinary" perspective (which I've discussed before
> > here--my 2002 paper is still in the papers archives for XMCA), I see
> > Vygotsky (and sociocultural theory more generally) as struggling between
> > two basic metaphorical interpretations of learning: (conceptual)
> > construction and enculturation. The construction metaphor, most often
> > associated with Piaget-inspired psychological constructivism (e.g., von
> > Glasersfeld), sees cognitive structures as developing and maturing
> > a TRANSFORMATIVE process. The enculturational metaphor, reflected in,
> > Leont'ev's notion of appropriation, sees a DISCONTINUITY between prior
> > structures and new ones (as Newman, Griffin, & Cole pointed out in The
> > Construction Zone). One comes to appropriate new modes of participation
> > adopting those practices anew rather like donning a new coat. Vygotsky's
> > notion of imitation seems to reflect a desire to capture both of these
> > senses of learning within a single theorization. By opting for the term
> > "imitation" Vygotsky buys into its traditional sense of mindless
> > coparticipation, even as he attempts to twist the meaning to include
> > conceptual structures that come to be transformed. The problem is that
> > these metaphorical interpretations are "incommensurable" with one
> > (see Sfard's, 1998, discussion of "acquisition" and "participation"
> > metaphors), and hence not subject to successful integration.
> > I see this basic problem with sociocultural theory as filtering down
> > incoherent or impotent guidance for educational practice. Consider the
> > notion of collaboration, as discussed in Chaiklin's chapter:
> > "Vygotsky often used the term collaboration in his discussion about
> > assessing the zone of proximal development. The term should not be
> > understood as a joint, coordinated effort to move forward, in which the
> > more expert partner is always providing support at the moments when
> > maturing functions are inadequate. Rather it appears that this term is
> > being used to refer to any situation in which a child is being offered
> > some
> > interaction with another person that is related to a problem to be
> > (p. 54).
> > As I discuss in my 2002 paper, from a constructivist perspective
> > supporting
> > students' conceptual construction implies the need to "read" the
> > current conceptual configuration and to develop tasks and engagements
> > are coordinated with the limitations of the current conceptual
> > (as a way to promote transformation of those structures). But, despite
> > interest in fostering conceptual restructuring, Vygotsky wants to hang
> > to a mode of collaboration in which coparticipation, itself, is
> > sufficient--a mode of engagement characteristic of the enculturationist
> > pedagogical approach (Kirshner, 2002). My argument in the 2002 paper is
> > that principled pedagogical methods only can be articulated relative to
> > single metaphorical interpretation of learning. As I see it, this is why
> > "Vygotsky does not seem to have any systematic principles, methods, or
> > techniques that should guide how collaboration should be conducted by a
> > person who is assessing a zone of proximal development" (Chaiklin, 2003,
> > p.
> > 54).
> > David Kirshner
> > Kirshner, D. (2002). Untangling teachers' diverse aspirations for
> > learning: A crossdisciplinary strategy for relating psychological theory
> > to
> > pedagogical practice. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 33
> > (1), 46-58.
> > Sfard, A. (1998). On two metaphors for learning and the dangers of
> > choosing
> > just one. Educational Researcher, 27(2), 4-13.
> > Phil Chappell
> > <philchappell who-is-at mac To:
> > email@example.com
> > .com> cc: (bcc: David H
> > Kirshner/dkirsh/LSU)
> > Sent by: Subject: [xmca] Social
> > situation, zpd and Franklin
> > xmca-bounces who-is-at webe
> > r.ucsd.edu
> > 06/03/2006 07:15
> > AM
> > Please respond to
> > "eXtended Mind,
> > Culture,
> > Activity"
> > Dear All,
> > I have just finished reading the Chaiklin article (at about 10 feet
> > above seal-level, bb), which I read about 18 months ago without the
> > focus-prompt given by Mike - "Did Franklin participate in a zoped?"
> > I'm always surprised at the new meanings I construct with texts when
> > I revisit them after some time!
> > So, Did Franklin participate in a zoped? Not an easy question! And I
> > don't have an answer, but...
> > As another thought to add to Althea's issues, Chaiklin (p. 47) talks
> > about a) the social situation of development ("the child's specific
> > but comprehensive relationship to its environment") and b) the
> > demands of the environment, which contradict the child's needs and
> > desires, as well as c) his/her current capabilities. Working to
> > overcome this contradiction in order to participate in a given
> > activity, the child "engages in different concrete tasks and specific
> > interactions, which can result in the formation of new functions, or
> > the enrichment of existing functions. The central new-formation
> > produced for a given age period is a consequence of the child's
> > interactions in the social situation of development with relevant
> > psychological functions that are not yet mature".
> > I contend, put crudely, that Franklin can regulate his relationship
> > with his environment in goal-directed activity that does not involve
> > collaboration at the art table and the wood bench (self-appointed
> > tasks where he concentrates intensely), as well as in the blocks
> > corner, but in none of these contexts has he demonstrated the
> > presence of the buds of development of ability to engage
> > independently or assisted in cooperative activity with his peers.
> > Franklin does not "yet have" the "democratic spirit" (p. 84 - Paley)
> > that his teacher sees as necessary in building blocks activity that
> > requires co-labouring.
> > Althea, while contemplating the task of seeing how Vygotsky defined
> > learning and development (a task that I am very interested in), has
> > the idea been raised of theorising whether or not there were maturing
> > psychological functions in the social situation of development, or
> > identifying Franklin's current state in relation to developing these
> > functions needed for a transition? This seems to me crucial in
> > Chaiklin's interpretation. If the answer is no, then do we say that
> > Franklin was not participating in a zoped?
> > Just some initial thoughts to add to Althea's as I have another read
> > of the chapter and also work back through parts of Collected Works
> > Vol. 4.
> > Looking forward to others' responses - even the oldtimers' :-)
> > Cheers,
> > Phil
> > P.S I copied the following from the chapter and somehow feel it is
> > relevant:
> > The crucial assumption is that imitation is possible because a)
> > maturing psychological functions are still insufficient to support
> > independent performance but b) have developed sufficiently so that c)
> > a person can understand how to use the collaborative actions (e.g.
> > leading questions, demonstrations) of another. The presence of these
> > maturing functions is the reason the zone of proximal development
> > exists. (page 52)
> > _______________________________________________
> > xmca mailing list
> > firstname.lastname@example.org
> > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> > _______________________________________________
> > xmca mailing list
> > email@example.com
> > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> xmca mailing list
xmca mailing list
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Sep 05 2006 - 08:11:24 PDT