Re: [xmca] Re: something magical

From: Andy Blunden (
Date: Mon Jun 19 2006 - 16:32:13 PDT

Mike, it seems to me close to self-evident that Franklin's first step in
being able to recognise his own behaviour, just in his behaviour with other
kids the blocks, is typical of ZPD, while the idea of a general, "across
the board" change is rarely compatible with ZPD because learning is always
particular, and only *becomes* general as the particular learning
experience "works its way" through the range of a person's activity,
*after* learning in the ZPD.

I am not sure that I see how/where Seth specifies that learning in the ZPD
must be general. Development is by definition general, and this is the
*eventual* outcome of ZPD, but it cannot be immediately so, can it?

On the other question, of whether we can distinguish "the emotions" from
intellect. I am sure we are all grasping for words here. Even though I
think that to one degree or another emotional experiences are always
associated with learning and vice versa, there is a distinction. In my
opinion, CHAT inordinately focuses on intellect and has the only viable
approach to intellect going at the moment, but I think we have a deficit in
grasping character and personality.

Why was recognising himself in the play an exciting experience for
Franklin? Why was joyful about being able to play with the other kids
better? Why did he *want* to change his behaviour? Why could he *not* see
himself when scolded by the teacher or when criticised by the other kids?


At 01:22 PM 19/06/2006 -0700, Mike Cole wrote:
>No accounting for taste in great minds, Ana, but your remarks certainly
>challenge me to think, and I doubt if I am alone in this.
>You ask:
>When Frankin recognized that "rush"..the interaction between the physical
>adrenalin and the emotions...Did it take him to a frozen time warp for that
>specific moment or an intensified continuum? If so, when children
>learn..right before that "AHA" they get into a frozen time warp
>or a continuum?
>First, I am not sure we can distinguish "the rush" from "the emotions" or
>"the emotions" from his intellect. All of a piece. I guess if I understand
>your metaphor
>correctly, we could rephrase it as "was this an isolated experience that
>could never
>be drawn upon again" or was this an experience that made it easier on future
>occasioins for Vivian and Franklin and Franklin and the kids, to be able to
>communicate about forms of behavior and their appropirateness and
>The text is not explicit, but as I read it, it suggest that Franklin did not
>undergo an
>across the board stage like change in his behavior in the blocks in general.
>But the experience did have a subsequent influence on interpersonal
>Part of what bothered me from the beginning when reading Seth's article was
>that so far as I can tell, even if the Franklin in the blocks story fit a
>Vygotskian idea of zoped in a situation-specific way, the generality
>assumption would mean it couldn't count. And if it couldn't count, what
>Peg's earlier comment on the primacy of decalage is relevant here as was my
>invocation of the idea of "islands of competence" with respect to the
>of cognitive development in early childhood in Cole&Cole. And, I think it
>DOES fit
>LSV the way I interpret him. But counting up citations won't solve the
>problem for us. Nor will complaints about the example of Franklin being only
>an anecdote, or impressionistic.
>Clearly we have a lot of work to do to get clear about the many intersecting
>issues here.
>On 6/19/06, Ana Balboa-Guenthner <> wrote:
>>This brings me to the next question and scenario..Remember that talent
>>show "Live at the Apollo"? People share their talents and if the audience is
>>not satisfied with their performance, they get egged or thrown tomatoes
>>The main purpose for some of these performers is to be validated..yet,
>>when interviewed, some of them get a rush, excitement, pushed to the edge,
>>challenged when they get thrown a tomato or an egg to signify that they are
>>disliked. Obviously they go through a learning experience. SHould there be a
>>need to redefine "emotion" within the context of learning?...That ying and
>>yang space within the "emotions" that takes them from one moment to the
>>When Frankin recognized that "rush"..the interaction between the physical
>>adrenalin and the emotions...Did it take him to a frozen time warp for that
>>specific moment or an intensified continuum? If so, when children
>>learn..right before that "AHA" they get into a frozen time warp
>>or a continuum?
>>I will apologize for not having the background to apply the jargon used to
>>identify the culture of this group. I have been one who has lurked in this
>>listserve since Linda Polin gave us the opportunity to listen to Engestrom
>>at the CSCL in COlorado years ago. SInce then, you could say that I have
>>been an avid fan. I have learned so much being a passive participant and yet
>>feeling too intimidated to communicate my thoughts...then again, after all
>>these years, I figured, I am in the midst of great minds and learned people.
>>The worst that could happen to me is sound stupid..but I will gain far more
>>by falling on my face. ~Ana G.
>>---- Original message ----
>> >Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2006 16:15:07 -0700
>> >From: "Mike Cole" <>
>> >Subject: Re: [xmca] Re: something magical
>> >To: "Ana Balboa-Guenthner" <>
>> >Cc: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <>
>> >
>> > Ana-- What pleasure could be taken in such a
>> > situation if the identity were recognized
>> > as invalid? In either the case of the 8 year old or
>> > Franklin?
>> > mike
>> >
>> > On 6/16/06, Ana Balboa-Guenthner
>> > <> wrote:
>> >
>> > Hmm, I am going to jump in on this one.. is it an
>> > issue of identity or validity?
>> >
>> > Take for example an 8 year old who has been
>> > playing the violin using the Suzuki
>> > method ( learning through play and hearing the
>> > music) since 3 years of age. By
>> > 8, the child is playing..Vivaldi. Concerto in A
>> > Minor First Movement.
>> >
>> > As the child performs on stage, does something
>> > magical happen to the audience
>> > or to the child? Will precision be considered as
>> > learning? To what degree? or
>> > should emotions play an important role in the
>> > child's learning?
>> >
>> > ---- Original message ----
>> > >Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2006 07:46:11 -0700
>> > >From: "Mike Cole" <>
>> > >Subject: Re: [xmca] Re: something magical
>> > >To: "Andy Blunden" <>
>> > >Cc: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <
>> >>
>> > >
>> > >Sounds plausible to me, Andy. It makes an easy
>> > link to issues of identity.
>> > >mike
>> > >
>> > >On 6/14/06, Andy Blunden <>
>> > wrote:
>> > >>
>> > >> If I want to remember every note in a piano
>> > piece then it helps lots if I
>> > >> can play it with my fingers and hear the notes
>> > back, doesn't it? The
>> > >> sensuous experience of playing and hearing the
>> > music as well as seeing the
>> > >> notes on the page, helps me reproduce it. Can
>> > we throw the emotional
>> > >> experience of learning something you wanted to
>> > learn, or of recognising
>> > >> yourself in a play, in the same basket with
>> > other sensuous experiences,
>> > >> like that of playing and hearing the music?
>> > Aren't they all part of
>> > >> learning? What is raised with emotion is *why*
>> > does a particular thing
>> > >> carry an emotional load, and therefore get
>> > learnt? What was the source of
>> > >> the rush Franklin felt when he recognised
>> > himself in the play, since I am
>> > >> guessing that it was that recognition which
>> > gave the rush, rather than the
>> > >> "getting it" at last?
>> > >>
>> > >> Andy
>> > >> At 09:49 AM 14/06/2006 -0700, you wrote:
>> > >> >Great turn in the discussion!
>> > >> >1) Sure there is a long history of interaction
>> > before the Franklin event.
>> > >> >And its
>> > >> >relevant. There was a long history to two
>> > sisters playing sisters also.
>> > >> >And emotion
>> > >> >and identity involved. But all of that is
>> > elided in the LSV discussion
>> > >> >(not a criticism,
>> > >> >he was using it as an example) and yet poeple
>> > site it in discussions of
>> > >> >how play
>> > >> >creates a zoped.
>>Ana Balboa-Guenthner
>>Elementary Education
>>California State University Northridge
>>virtual office:
>>Skype: anag006
>>AIM: anag006
>>"So divinely is the world organized that every one of us, in our place and
>>time, is in balance with everything else." Goethe
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Andy Blunden, for Victorian Peace Network, phone +61 3 9380 9435
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