[xmca] ZPD/Personality

From: Dot Robbins <drobbins72000 who-is-at yahoo.com>
Date: Sat Feb 09 2008 - 06:34:20 PST

  Dear Friends,
  Thank you for your thoughts on the ZPD and the aspect of the “whole,” Michael. Often, we try so hard to dissect meanings in terms of stratified definitions, which is certainly necessary. But, the concept of the ZPD for me is more of a construct of “magical activity.” If it is not headed towards creating new spaces of potential transformation (beyond what the individual could obtain), then it remains somewhat reified. It is exactly the understanding of the “personality” (whole) in Russian cultural-historical, non-classical psychology that has offered me that spark of inside magic, and somehow this can only be achieved when the cognitive meets the affective. Andy put all of this understanding into one term long ago, which really changed me totally…he called it the “zone of fusion.”
  At a conference in 2006, people were asked their opinions about things, and Volker stood up and asked all of us to “perform.” It was magic, and after that experience, we really saw each other (we normally have to see (or feel in case of blindness) each other in order to listen to each other), and the further discussions at that conference were automatically deeper. For me, entering the zones of the “living” ZPD means taking a risk, letting our humanness/vulnerability be shown. At Moscow State University, they have a department of the psychology of personality, with A. Asmolov as the head. I have never heard of anything like this before, and am fascinated by it. Alexei Alexeevitch Leontiev stated it best for me: “Unfortunately, contemporary psychology has to a large extent transformed itself from a science of the infinitely developing human being in an infinitely changing world, from a science of the action of the free and creative personality, into a science of the
 activity of a limited and rigid consciousness…Is there a psychology of activity? There is no such thing! And there never was such a thing either for Vygotsky or for Leontyev! There was a “psychology of activity, of consciousness, and of personality.”
  Asmolov, A. (1998). On the Verge of Non-Classical Psychology. Commack, New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. (Chapter 6: Personality Self-Fulfillment as a Condition and Purpose of the Historical-Evolutionary Development of Society)
  Bozhovich, L. I. (2004). “L. I. Bozhovich and the Psychology of Personality.” Journal of Russian & East European Psychology. Vol. 42/4.
  Leontyev, A. A. (1992). “Ecce Homo. Methodological Problems of the Activity Theoretical Approach.” Multidisciplinary Newsletter for Activity Theory. Vol. 11/12, pp.41-45.

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Received on Sat Feb 9 06:37 PST 2008

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