Re: [xmca] neoformation / zpd

From: Lois Holzman <lholzman who-is-at>
Date: Mon Feb 11 2008 - 08:29:06 PST

Michael and others,
If you want to pursue this I recommend books by two critical
developmental psychologists, Erica Burman and John Morss:
Burman, Deconstructing Developmental Psychology
Morss, Growing Critical


On Feb 8, 2008, at 8:24 PM, Michael Glassman wrote:

> Andy,
> This issue has special salience to me at the moment because I have
> been reading about the child welfare movement in the United States -
> the ideas of the right to childhood, and the "whole child." It was
> spearheaded by the women who worked within the Settlement House
> movement - Jane Addams, Lillian Wald and Florence Kelly. In some
> ways development, child develolpment, at least as it was originally
> envisioned by G. Stanley Hall, was at odds with dealing with the
> whole child, and the understanding that society creates the child as
> much as the child finds a place in society. This was a political
> fight in many ways, so much of it was about who takes responsibility
> for children. Developmentalists at the time saw the child's entry
> in to society as something of an individual endeavour - they develop
> different skill sets, abilities, like cognition, and emotion, and
> social skills (and at one point I think foot size). This puts much
> of the onus on the child in finding his or her place in society.
> When considering the whole child it seems like we consider was makes
> the child's life better - a more Pragmatic view of life (not
> surprising - many of these women were Progressives and had ties to
> the Pragmatists). Is that then what we consider learning.
> Is it possible to get development out of this individualistic box,
> and then what does that say about social responsibility if we
> can't.. I think the learning/development question may be more
> profound than we often give it credit for. Of course Vygotsky
> wasn't party to any of this. Does his brand of development get us
> out of this box. The whole neoformationist strand led me to think
> about that.
> Michael
> ________________________________
> From: on behalf of Andy Blunden
> Sent: Fri 2/8/2008 8:10 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
>> ---------------------------------
>> Looking for last minute shopping deals? Find them fast with Yahoo!
>> Search.
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> Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435,
> mobile 0409 358 651
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