Re: [xmca] Zopeds and more competent peers

From: Aleksandar Baucal (abaucal@f.bg.ac.yu)
Date: Wed Dec 13 2006 - 14:22:27 PST


Hi,

I've done few researches trying to study how children build new
competences through interaction with more competent other (adult or
peer). What I find interesting is that children who participate in joint
problem solving have higher scores on the post-test compared to those
from control group (what fits to predictions based on the Vygotskian
approach), but this improvement is made in most cases because they
learned to use their already existing competences better, and not mainly
because they built new competences during social interaction (what would
not fit to Vygotskian approach). It leads me to include
performance-competence distinction in my thinking (performance= real
achievement, and competence= what child is able to achieve). For
example, children could fail on some items which are under her/his
ability, i.e. child have necessary competences to solve item, but (s)he
fails because of some other reason. On the other side, child could fail
on items which are above his/her ability because of lack of certain
competence. So, it is not enough just to demonstrate that children can
do better after social interaction, but to demonstrate that they can do
better on items above their previous competence (i.e. items which are in
the ZPD). It seems to me that if social interaction would help children
just to "fill the performance-competence gap" it would not be enough to
say that children build new competences through joint activity.

yours
Sasha Baucal

Mike Cole wrote:
> Thanks Steve--
>
> There are clear affinities, but some differences between the
> perspectives,
> as you indicate. Probably Alex
> Kozulin is the most active in working with both positions. For the
> present
> discussion, it seems that what people might want to focus on is their
> different implications for evaluation in relation to instruction.
> mike
>
> On 12/11/06, steven thorne <slt13@psu.edu> wrote:
>>
>>
>> hi Mike -- this is a good question. Feuerstein's 'mediated learning
>> experience' (MLE) model is more restrictive in scope than is
>> mediation from
>> the cultural-historical perspective.
>> the MLE model presumes human beings to be open systems and understands
>> development as driven by the presence (and inhibited or
>> differentiated by
>> the absence) of forms of interaction and instruction -- elements that
>> are
>> broadly commensurable with LSV's thinking.
>>
>> coming directly to your question -- Feuerstein describes mediation as
>> "the
>> psychological component of cultural transmission" (Feuerstein et al.,
>> 1981:271). HOWEVER, and this is significant -- Feuerstein also describes
>> some activity as "direct" or non-mediated, such as a child watching TV
>> alone. this is telling and it suggests that by mediation, Feuerstein
>> narrowly means co-present human interaction. this is obviously
>> heterodoxical
>> to the theorizations of mediation by LSV.
>>
>> for those interested, a few more LSV inspired/oriented DA resources
>> include:
>>
>> Lidz, C.S. (1991). A practitioner's guide to dynamic assessment. New
>> York:
>> Guildford.
>>
>> Lidz, C.S, & Gindis, B. (2003). Dynamic assessment of the evolving
>> cognitive functions in children. In Kozulin et al., Vygotsky's
>> educational
>> theory in cultural context. Cambridge: CUP.
>>
>> steve
>>
>> On Dec 11, 2006, at 11:31 PM, Mike Cole wrote:
>>
>> Hi Steven-- Do you think that Feurstein and LSV had the same ideas about
>> mediation? About zopeds?
>> I am not at all sure.
>> mike
>>
>> On 12/11/06, steven thorne <slt13@psu.edu> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>> Hi Ana, Mike, Sonja, and all -- For ZPD related assessment, you might
>> look at dynamic assessment (DA).
>>
>> Like the ZPD, DA is forward/future looking in its orientation through
>> its assertion that mediated performance can be indicative of
>> independent functioning in the future. DA methods of assessment
>> involve mediating an examinee's performance by providing prompts and
>> leading questions during the assessment intervention itself. Its
>> primary goal is to fuse assessment procedures with interactive
>> opportunities for learning, and in so doing, to produce a more
>> nuanced understanding of an examinee's current and future
>> developmental potential.
>>
>> A few references:
>>
>> Feuerstein (2003) has published extensively on the use of DA in a
>> variety of populations. Lantolf and Poehner (2004) provide an in-
>> depth description of DA use in education broadly and also suggest
>> guidelines for its use in second and foreign language contexts.
>> Additionally, they have a companion paper that extends principles of
>> DA to formative assessment and foreign language classroom practice
>> (Poehner & Lantolf, 2005). See also Kozulin and Garb, who look at EFL
>> text comprehension through DA, and Lantolf and Thorne (2006, chapter
>> 12) for a review of this research.
>>
>> Feuerstein, R., et al. (2003). Dynamic assessment of cognitive
>> modifiability. Jerusalem: ICELP Press.
>>
>> Kozulin, A. & Garb, E. (2002). Dynamic assessment of EFL text
>> comprehension of at-risk students. School Psychology International
>> 23: 112-27.
>>
>> Lantolf, J. & Thorne, S. L. (2006). Sociocultural theory and the
>> genesis of second language development. Oxford. Chapter 12
>> addresses DA.
>>
>> Lantolf, J. & Poehner, M. (2004). Dynamic assessment and L2
>> development: Brining the past into the future. Journal of Applied
>> Linguistics 1: 49-74,
>>
>> Poehner, M. & Lantolf, J. (2005). Dynamic assessment in the language
>> classroom. Language Teaching Research 9: 1-33.
>>
>> steve
>>
>> ______________
>> Steven L. Thorne
>> Assistant Professor, Linguistics and Applied Language Studies
>> Associate Director, Center for Language Acquisition
>> Advisor for Mediated Learning, Center for Advanced Language
>> Proficiency Education and Research (CALPER)
>> The Pennsylvania State University
>> Interact > 814.863.7036 | sthorne@psu.edu | http://
>> language.la.psu.edu/~thorne/ <http://language.la.psu.edu/%7Ethorne/>
>> | IM:
>> avkrook
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Dec 11, 2006, at 1:15 PM, Mike Cole wrote:
>>
>> > There is a large literature on zopeds and evaluation. A very
>> > complicated
>> > topic.
>> > Ann Brown worried about this topics starting in early 1980's. The
>> > problem,
>> > logically speaking, is that zopeds are open systems. Artificially
>> > closing
>> > them
>> > with "levels of help"/"scaffolding" makes a link to standardized
>> > evaluation
>> > but destroys
>> > the essential properties of a zoped.
>> > mike
>> >
>> > On 12/11/06, deborah downing-wilson <ddowningw@gmail.com> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> hmmm. it seems to me that in teaching or demonstrating a skill we
>> >> perform
>> >> the skill in as close to the ideal form as we are able, and as this
>> >> teaching
>> >> episode is also an incidence of practice we can assume that the
>> >> teacher's
>> >> skill level improves during the interaction. I'm not sure about the
>> >> deeper
>> >> understanding, one can hope for the compassion and empathy,
>> >> frustration
>> >> and
>> >> impatience certainly.
>> >>
>> >> On 12/11/06, Ana Guenthner <anaguenthner@gmail.com> wrote:
>> >> >
>> >> > In response to Shirley and Deb's thoughts, to assume that the more
>> >> > dominant
>> >> > learner in a group zpd tends to lead to deeper understanding
>> >> would be
>> >> > overrating the learner. I tend to wonder if deeper
>> >> understanding would
>> >> be
>> >> > in the learners reflections towards compassion and empathy
>> >> rather than
>> >> > content.
>> >> >
>> >> > The notion of assuming that the more capable learner performs
>> >> "at a
>> >> level
>> >> > above what they are capable of outside the ZPD " as a general
>> >> statement
>> >> > somehow does not sit well with my thinking. Considering the
>> >> cultural
>> >> > historical aspect of a teacher not knowing the danger of
>> >> simplifying and
>> >> > deciding on the individual/group more capable and least capable
>> >> based on
>> >> > an
>> >> > inferior design of assessments.
>> >> >
>> >> > The hot topic seems to be in the design of assessments at the
>> >> moment.
>> >> Any
>> >> > views out there on the cultural historical impact on zoped and
>> >> > assessments?
>> >> > Would appreciate a lead.
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> > >
>> >> > > > On 12/11/06, Shirley Franklin <s.franklin@dsl.pipex.com> wrote:
>> >> > > >> You are so right, Deb.
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >> It is a very positive argument for mixed ability teaching and
>> >> > learning.
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >> My kids were taught is mixed ability classrooms (sadly now
>> >> in the
>> >> > > >> decline in the UK) and benefited enormously by helping
>> >> their weaker
>> >> > > >> mates . The act of simplification must involve more complex
>> >> thinking.
>> >> > > >> As a special needs teacher I know how challenging
>> >> simplification
>> >> is!
>> >> > > >> I have always thought this had led these 'more competent
>> >> peers' to
>> >> > > >> greater , deeper understandings. It is something we frequently
>> >> > > >> discuss in my teaching seminars.
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >> Like Deb, I would love some other references to this.
>> >> > > >> Shirley
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >> On 10 Dec 2006, at 23:55, deborah downing-wilson wrote:
>> >> > > >>
>> >> > > >>> A question that comes to me occasionally - but never when
>> >> I'm
>> >> near
>> >> > > >>> someone
>> >> > > >>> to ask-
>> >> > > >>>
>> >> > > >>> It seems to me that the "more capable" member of the ZPD, by
>> >> nature
>> >> > > >>> of the
>> >> > > >>> interaction also performs at a level above what they are
>> >> capable
>> >> of
>> >> > > >>> outside
>> >> > > >>> the ZPD -
>> >> > > >>>
>> >> > > >>> deb
>> >> > >
>> >> > > >>> On 12/10/06, Mike Cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:
>> >> > > .
>> >> > > >>>>
>> >> > > >>>> The difficulty at the cultural-historical level that
>> >> bothers me
>> >> is
>> >> > > >>>> that it is even more difficult than in the
>> >> > > >>>> ontogenetic case to figure out who the more capable
>> >> person/social
>> >> > > >>>> group
>> >> > > >>>> might be.
>> >> > >
>> >> > _______________________________________________
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>> >> >
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> --
>> >> Deborah Downing-Wilson
>> >> _______________________________________________
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