RE: [xmca] neoformation / zpd

From: Paul Dillon <phd_crit_think who-is-at>
Date: Sun Feb 10 2008 - 17:37:22 PST

Wouldn’t the answer to “who’s building the building?” require a theoretical framework that takes into account the reproduction of the society as a whole, the conditions of its continuity from generation to generation, as determined by the systems of artifacts with which it accomplishes this goal? Wouldn't the different sets of skills required for a society’s characteristic and necessary activities define the different types and stages of the development of the individuals who participate in them? Without a theoretical framework that connects these social subjects to the individual, how could one possibly identify the “author” of the scaffolding?
  It is a tautology that individuals develop in societes. The individual’s telos is inscribed and traced, if not not determined, in that society's systems of values and roles; the society's hierarchies structure the individual member's developmental paths, Weber's "careers".
  But do societies have telos? A telos whose unfolding represents the fuller development of humans in general? I don’t think, Michael’s “democratic” vs. “authoritarian” governing strategies are useful examples since they are totally abstract notions and impossible to connect consistently to specific activity systems. Nevertheless the question: “But as soon as we start talking about more or less developed in terms of skill sets whose agenda are we promoting?” goes directly to my point.. What are the necessities of social reproduction, what subjects does it require? What skill sets, control of artifacts, do these subjects need to acquire to participate.
  How can the question of development be answered without such a framework? I don't think Vygotsky had a problem here since he saw his work as the development of the psychological aspects of such a theory.

Peter Smagorinsky <> wrote:
  Michael's comments resonate with the old question that arose with respect to
the "scaffolding" metaphor: Who's building whose building?

Peter Smagorinsky

The University of Georgia

125 Aderhold Hall

Athens, GA 30602

From: [] On
Behalf Of Michael Glassman
Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2008 11:20 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: RE: [xmca] neoformation / zpd

But here is my question as I struggle with this. If we say developed then
are we forced to say developed towards what. An argument that comes up on
this list from time to time is teleology. Can we assume there is one?
Doesn't the idea that there is development suggest there is such a thing as
more developed and less developed? How do we deal with that without making
value judgments.

I think I agree with the idea that there is a teleology, or at least a more
advanced and less advanced state of being, for humans in general. I would
posit that democracy is more advanced than authoritarianism as a governing
strategy, but that is I think because historically you could make an
empirical argument democratic societies tend to be more adaptive to changing
ecologies and needs than authoritarian societies. But can you bring this
idea of more advanced or less advanced back down to the individual, and is
it even worth it considering the dangers that it entails and the
differentiation of individual experiences. Are we setting ourselves up to
use a deficit model and will we have difficulty understanding what is
happening outside of our own habitus. I think it is possible if we return
to the idea of a whole child. A child who is not hungry is better off than
a child who is hungry. A child who has sheter is better off than a child
who does not have shelter. A child who has time and space to play is better
off than a child who does not have time and space to play. Perhaps if we
want to take it down a bit more in to the weeds, a child whose intellectual
curiousity is primed is better off than a child whose intellectual
curiousity is not primed. But as soon as we start talking about more or
less developed in terms of skill sets whose agenda are we promoting?



From: on behalf of Lisa Kuh
Sent: Sun 2/10/2008 10:01 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] neoformation / zpd

Hmm....I want to make sure that we are indeed making a distinction between
learning and development and not polarizing them. My thought is that in the
ZPD paradigm, if "learning leads development", then there is a complex
relationship between the learning and development....perhaps as others have
offered where learning seems to indicate acquisition and development a
change in structure of some sort. However, my sense is that within the ZPD,
both learning and development share the stage, not just hierarchically, but
in relationship to each other within the context of the situation.
Still pondering this distinction....

Lisa P. Kuh, M.Ed.
Head Teacher, Eliot-Pearson Children's School
Tufts University
PhD Candidate, Teacher Education
University of Washington
146 Allston Street
Medford, MA 02155
206-406-0134 781-391-1533

----- Original Message -----
From: "Elinami Swai"
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2008 8:55 AM
Subject: Re: [xmca] neoformation / zpd

>I also like the way people are making distinction btn learning and
> development.But must one loose some skills as he/she develops? Can we
> say, those skills are just being peripherised, and can still be used
> when needed? (one does not forget a certain skill or how he/she used
> to think, just by knowing it in a different way). Development can then
> be adding new skills and learning, transforming those skills. ZPD can
> be seen more clearly on development part -- the difference between
> what one knew and what is now known. But in learning, how a skill was
> transformed--the difference might not be very clear.
> Elinami.
> On 2/9/08, Worthen, Helena Harlow wrote:
>> I like Andy's way of making a distinction between "learning" and
>> "development."
>> I'd venture that "development" is more likely to occur in a zpd-rich
>> context.
>> Michael Glassman mentions the "individualist box." What if we try using
>> this distinction -- development is "a step foward that entails
>> restructuring/losing some abilities while gaining others, while
>> "learning" is adding skills -- doesn't that get us out of the box?
>> Helena
>> ________________________________________
>> From: [] On Behalf
>> Of Andy Blunden []
>> Sent: Friday, February 08, 2008 7:10 PM
>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> Subject: Re: [xmca] neoformation / zpd
>> "Listening" to what everyone is saying about zpd, it seems that people
>> see
>> zpd as relevant to learning in general, and not tied to development. Is
>> this true?
>> If I ask myself what it is that make a step forward *development* rather
>> than *learning*, then I'd say it's a step forward that entails *losing*
>> some abilities while acquiring new ones, whereas learning means just
>> adding
>> new skills., not losing them Whenever a development first takes place,
>> that
>> is to say we have a *re*-structuring taking place, then necessarily every
>> other aspect of a person's activity and their relations to others around
>> them has to change / restructure as well. That's the nature of structure,
>> after all. So what was learnt has to grow over into other areas of
>> activity. But isn't this process an important aspect of the concept of
>> zpd?
>> Or is that just incidental? Given that development is definitively and in
>> a
>> much more profound way, something that is driven by the demands and
>> expectations of others and the person's relation to others, it would seem
>> that zpd is a concept which ought to have special significance for
>> development, not just learning.
>> How do people see the concept of zpd in relation to *development*
>> specifically?
>> Andy
>> At 02:55 PM 8/02/2008 -0800, you wrote:
>> >Yes, XMCA is a zoped, though it can also be a confessional and a
>> >tribunal
>> >too. I think the main reason why XMCA is a zoped and the confessional
>> >and
>> >tribunal are not is that the latter have an EVALUATIVE rather than a
>> >DEVELOPMENTAL function. So the proper function of a confessional and a
>> >tribunal (and SOME forms of teaching) is ASSESSMENT rather than
>> >That's what I meant about having our backs to the future.
>> >
>> > Many of the on-line presentations (Mike's, Pentti Hakarainnen's, and
>> > of
>> > course the Seoul presentations) have to do with a text called "Problem
>> > of
>> > Age" in Volume Five of the Collected Works, eric. In it, LSV really
>> > does
>> > describe disappearing neoformations ("autonomous speech" and
>> > "negativism"
>> > are mentioned, and that's why Dr. Subbotsky talks about negativism in
>> > his
>> > remarks at the on-line seminar). And of course in Chapter Five and Six
>> > of
>> > Thinking and Speech he also talks about everyday concepts "blazing a
>> > trail" for scientific concepts.
>> >
>> > That's for the tribunal. Now for the confessional part! My statement
>> > that the "Goliath" was developmentally inert but the "Feast of
>> > Belshazzar" is somehow catalytic was simply wrong: I think they were
>> > BOTH
>> > catalytic, but only ontogenetically. Neither one was catalytic
>> > socioculturally; neither one really had a future with other painters.
>> > (I
>> > certainly don't want to paint bug-eyed Belshazzars with bunches of
>> > bananas on the ends of their arms.)
>> >
>> > An example of a socioculturally catalytic form of painting would be
>> > the
>> > small devotional miniatures which Elsheimer did. They were so small
>> > people wouldn't pay good prices for them, and Elsheimer died of
>> > starvation with his whole family. His art prefigured the slightly
>> > larger
>> > devotional works that made Poussin's fortune, and even today it
>> > survives
>> > in cameo art.
>> >
>> > (I even knew a guy in Paris who survived by frequenting auctions
>> > where
>> > they would calculate how much money you got per square inch for your
>> > last
>> > canvas and then start bidding with that price for your next one. He'd
>> > show up with a tiny canvas and bid the price up ridiculously high, and
>> > then come the next week with an ENORMOUS one!)
>> >
>> > David Kellogg
>> > Seoul National University of Education
>> >
>> >
>> >---------------------------------
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>> >_______________________________________________
>> >xmca mailing list
>> >
>> >
>> Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435,
>> mobile 0409 358 651
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> --
> Dr. Elinami Swai
> Womens' and Gender Studies
> University Hall 4220-A
> The University of Toledo
> Toledo, OH, 43606
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Received on Sun Feb 10 17:39 PST 2008

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