Re: [xmca] On Roth's "On Mediation"

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at>
Date: Wed Oct 24 2007 - 13:43:45 PDT

Let me try a different answer, Eric. Perhaps michael will agree, perhaps
not. Lets see.

Leontiev used the example of an experienced driver shifting gears in a car.
Assuming you have
become expert at driving a car with a non-automatic gear shift (an
assumption that may be fading
in realisticness!), the shifting often occurs unconciously ........ so long
as it is unproblematic. But
suppose that you are confronted with a steep hill that is gravely and you
are not certain how to
get the car up the hill. You might downshift as an operation.... at first.
But if your tires slip on the
gravel, or if you have to downshift further, the resulting discoordinations
force you to focus on shifting,
shifting has become conscious and has been transformed from an operation
into an action.

I believe that the reverse process also depends crucially on highly
practiced action, such as the flip
of the wrist that Michael uses as an illustration in the fish feeding

hope that is helpful, but perhaps I am saying it, and thinking about it, all

On 10/24/07, <> wrote:
> Yes, Michael, I understand that operations are within a given context and
> that they arise from the context of actions upon the
> environment. However,
> the repetetive operation of speaking and writing can develop into more
> elaborate and saliant activities that move beyond that given context.
> Beyond actions and operations are goal directed activities (i.e. writing a
> novel, builiding a house, making a "how-to" video for shoe tying). You
> touch on goal directed activities in the article but I am left empty
> handed after the read. i can't envision the direction you choose to
> pursue.
> help,
> eric
> Wolff-Michael
> Roth To: "eXtended Mind,
> Culture, Activity" <>
> <> cc:
> Sent by: Subject: Re: [xmca] On
> Roth's "On Mediation"
> xmca-bounces@web
> 10/24/2007 01:29
> PM
> Please respond
> to "eXtended
> Mind, Culture,
> Activity"
> Hi Eric,
> thanks for your note.
> > How does the immediacy of operations develop into the mediated
> > actions of a goal directed activity?
> Operations do not "Develop" into mediated actions, they are produced
> in response to current conditions, which include the present state of
> the action. I am thinking about talking in everyday situations as a
> paradigm. We don't go and search for words, they seem to appear in
> our mouths. The type of words is a function of the current state,
> including what we have produced thus far, and we stop not BECAUSE of
> grammatical rules but because of a stop order (remember, most people
> and especially children don't know formal grammar and yet produce
> grammatical sentences), which tells us that what we have produced is
> somehow complete. We can make salient operations, which usually
> happens when something goes wrong, and the reverse happens as we
> become familiar with actions that they disappear from our
> consciousness. When this happens precisely normally is not available
> to consciousness, because it precisely involves the disappearance of
> being conscious of the action. (I once studied it when I was teaching
> in Newfoundland, taking also a course, and doing a study of tying
> shoe laces with a child that had trisomy 21. What are operations to
> us had to be made explicit, involving something like 18 steps in my
> case. With time, 2 actions combined, leading to the disappearance
> [becoming operations] of its predecessors)
> Michael
> On 24-Oct-07, at 9:25 AM, wrote:
> Woff-Michael:
> Firstoff: great read! I so enjoy an article that places a "real-world"
> context for the reader to negotiate the scholarly "words". The real-
> world
> context being the fish hatchery. Also, for once I believe I have a firm
> grasp on how Leontiev was negotiating the avenue of activities,
> actions and
> operations. Your examples clearly indicate the differences and I am
> able
> to better understand the history and development of Cultural-Historical
> theory as a result of your article. Thank you. Here is my difficulty.
> Perhaps it is in the paper and I am not deciphering it correctly,
> perhaps
> not. How does the immediacy of operations develop into the mediated
> actions of a goal directed activity? Where is the explanation of the
> process that allows actions to become operations? Vygotsky viewed the
> transition of speaking aloud to problem solving to inner speech for
> problem
> solving as the process. Valsiner similar but more intricate in his
> explanations. The difference obviously being that Valsiner has enjoyed
> much more time in the research arena. Using your example of learning
> how
> to feed the fish could you possibly walk me through your thoughts on how
> you transitioned from using the scoop as a mediating device to the point
> where feeding the fish was an operation and you were able to move
> into an
> 'everydayness' of feeding fish.
> eric
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
xmca mailing list
Received on Wed Oct 24 13:45 PDT 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Nov 20 2007 - 14:25:43 PST