Re: [xmca] Did Franklin Participate in a Zoped?

From: Steve Gabosch (
Date: Mon Jun 05 2006 - 23:05:56 PDT

Hi Bill,
Thanks for your analysis of Chaiklin's text, and applying it to
Franklin as you did. A few questions come to me as I try to grasp
these new perspectives, especially the distinction between objective
and subjective zopeds. There might be better ways to formulate these
kinds of questions, but here are a couple angles:

With the distinctions between objective and subjective zones of
proximal development in mind, what does it mean to "participate" in a
zoped, or be "in" a zoped? Along the same vein, how can one know if
they are "in" or "out" of a zoped? Focusing on Franklin, what parts
of the Franklin story would need to be changed to answer Mike's
question "did Franklin Participate in a Zoped?" affirmatively?

- Steve

At 01:52 PM 6/5/2006 -0400, bb wrote:
>The short answer is "No".
>It always takes some effort to jump into someone else's text/mind, and this
>may be why the answer to Mike's question seems so elusive. I'm going to try
>to stick closely to Chaiklin's text, reserving, not pushing, my own
>What Chaiklin is advocating, reading among and between the lines, is that one
>cannot ascribe a zoped without a theoretical framework. First, he clarifies
>development, and I've been able to pull out these aspects, although the list
>may not be complete:
>child development:
>1) involves the whole child, not one task
>2) is staged
>3) is functional
>4) is agentful (willful)
>5) is historical (need description of the theoretical model)
>6) is material
>Chaiklin states that objective zopeds, while culturally-historically
>are normative, "one can say that the [objective] zone is normative..." p 49.,
>reflecting 'a particular societal tradition of practice."
>So Franklin's definitely not in THAT zone, the objective zone. But
>what about
>the subjective zone?
>For the subjective zoped, Chaiklin writes the "ability to imitate... is the
>basis for the subjective zoped." p 51. and then "Imitation is possible
>only to the extent and in those forms in which it is accompanied by
>understanding" p 51-52.
>This IS a very specific delineation of 'imitation', not the normal cultural
>meaning, but I've seen common words used with precise definitions in other
>areas ( e.g. force, energy, momentum mean precise things to physicists), so I
>do not find this refinement of 'imitation' peculiar. Rather, the
>sub-question to Mike's big one becomes " Is Franklin imitating Paley
>imitating Franklin (or imitating himself) when in the circle, or is he just
>copying Paley/himself?"
>For that, we have to try to assess Franklin's understanding of the situation,
>i.e., reading Chaiklin closeley, this seems to mean whether there are
>"maturing psychlogical functions that are developing" p 57, to which Paley's
>intervention is directed. The problem is that Paley just does not articulate
>enough of the situation for us to tell, one way or the other. My conjecture,
>reading into the situation, is that there are functions of self-regulation
>that are in development concerning Franklin -- he can't self-regulate at the
>blocks, but with the support of a socio-dramatic play context, he is able to
>cooperate with other children. Paley writes ""pretend disarms and enchants;
>it suggests heroic possibilities for making changes, just as in the fairy
>tales." Franklin just may be "imitating", with understanding. The only
>evidence we seem to have is that he is able to cooperate in one situation,
>i.e. socio-dramatic simulation of the building blocks, while not being able
>to cooperate while actually in the building block area.
>But no, this is circumstantial evidence, not conclusive, becuase a
>model of Franklin's age period for self-regulation in the practice of
>building with blocks has not been expressed, at least not in Paley's paper.
>Chaiklin writes "the zone is never located soley in the child, not even the
>subjective zone. the subjective zone is always an evaluation of a child's
>capabilities in relation to the theoretical model of the age period. p 58.
>Theoretical models for the role of socio-dramatic play have appeared in the
>literature however, e.g. in Cole & Cole, and Leong & Bodrova, et...
>So perhaps Paley knows. Paley wrote: 'A role playing incident may
>not alter a
>person's manners, but it provides a standard for easy reference. I can now
>speak about Franklin's behaviour in a calm context, and he willingly sees
>himself in the picture'. It's not clear whether Paley is evaluated
>Franklin's performance in relation to a theoretical model -- she does not
>articulate this in such a manner in her text. She does seem to have a grasp
>of the situation, however, writing the first part of her claim in general
>There is just not enough written about the situation to tell for sure. The
>Paula and Randy in me want to vote yes, but Simon Says "No".
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