RE: [xmca] neoformation / zpd

From: Michael Glassman <MGlassman who-is-at>
Date: Fri Feb 08 2008 - 17:24:45 PST


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.


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*


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 LEARNING.
>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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  Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435,
mobile 0409 358 651

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Received on Fri Feb 8 17:26 PST 2008

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