Re: [xmca] Social situation, zpd and Franklin

From: Ares, Nancy (
Date: Mon Jun 05 2006 - 11:23:00 PDT

I wonder what would transform or be modified in the cross-disciplinary
perspective if it was broadened to include such things as critical theory,
critical race theory, resistance theory, culturally relevant pedagogy,
feminist theory, black feminist theory, chicana feminist theory, cultural
studies, etc. from cultural or social foundations? It strikes me that the
cross-disciplinary perspective, as portrayed, doesn't leave much room (at
least explicitly) for agency for the novice/student/child. Enculturation
implies assimilation into, but maybe there is room for appropriation that I
am not seeing? I also think it would be interesting to see how this
perspective might attend to variation in cultural practices of those
involved in the teaching/learning relationships, and to differential power
relations that don't have to do with age or expertise as defined narrowly by
the task at hand.


On 6/5/06 12:23 PM, "David H Kirshner" <> wrote:

> Andy, thanks for your question.
> I'm going to build, here, on my earlier long response (sorry) to Mike's
> questions. From a crossdisciplinary perspective, I don't take collaboration
> to be "essential to the learning relationship" nor anything else. That's
> because what is conceived of as a productive learning relationship is
> indexed to the particular metaphorical notion of learning one is interested
> in supporting. For what I call "acculturationist teaching" in which the
> teacher serves as a representative of a culture which the student is
> encouraged to enter, I would agree that collaboration is close to the heart
> of what one attempts to establish. The same may be true of
> "enculturationist teaching" in which the teacher seeks (surreptitiously) to
> nurture certain participation features within the classroom
> microculture--the focus being on some kind of mutuality of purpose with
> respect to increasingly central participation within the surrogate culture
> of the classroom. But in a "psychological constructivist pedagogy" aimed at
> supporting students' understanding of problematic conceptual content the
> source of learning is not the relationship with the teacher, but engagement
> in the task environment established by the teacher responsive to her or his
> interpretation of the limitations of students' current understandings. The
> student has to trust the teacher enough to engage fully in the task
> presented by the teacher, but this is not a "collaboration" precisely
> because there is not mutuality of purpose. The teacher develops the task
> without co-participation or negotiation with the student. The student
> thrashes around within the microworld created by the task, a microworld
> that necessarily excludes the teacher.
> David
> PS. I've heard Eugene is planning to charge royalties on use of his
> trademark sign-off, "What do you think?"
> Andy Blunden
> < To:
> t> cc: (bcc: David H
> Kirshner/dkirsh/LSU)
> Sent by: Subject: Re: [xmca] Social
> situation, zpd and Franklin
> xmca-bounces who-is-at webe
> 06/04/2006 10:27
> PM
> Please respond to
> "eXtended Mind,
> Culture,
> Activity"
>> David,
>> It seems to me that the essential meaning of collaboration is precisely
>> that the different subjects both pursue a common aim. I think that this
>> conception includes the possibility of a subject offering solidarity to
>> another so that their collaboration takes the form of lending support to a
>> project created by the other subject. But the essence of the matter is
>> that both pursue the same aim and work together for that end.
>> That one subject (the 'teacher') has to determine what the other person's
>> (the learner's) aim *should be* is clearly a best available alternative to
>> the coincidence of projects which have independently presented themselves
>> from both subjects' lives. Life is such that a hell of a lot of learning
>> takes place between teachers working for a wage and students suffering
>> compulsory education or seeking job-tickets, but I think LSV is right to
>> start from what is essential to the learning relationship.
>> What do you think?
>> Andy
>> At 04:40 AM 4/06/2006 -0500, you wrote:
>> ...
>>> As I discuss in my 2002 paper, from a constructivist perspective
> supporting
>>> students' conceptual construction implies the need to "read" the
> students'
>>> current conceptual configuration and to develop tasks and engagements
> that
>>> are coordinated with the limitations of the current conceptual structures
>>> (as a way to promote transformation of those structures). But, despite
> his
>>> interest in fostering conceptual restructuring, Vygotsky wants to hang on
>>> 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 a
>>> 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).
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Nancy Ares
Assistant Professor
Teaching & Curriculum
Warner Graduate School of Education
    and Human Development
University of Rochester
P.O. Box 270425
Rochester, NY 14627
Fax 585-473-7598

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