Re: [xmca] ZPD/Personality

From: Cathrene Connery <cconnery who-is-at>
Date: Wed Feb 13 2008 - 10:55:50 PST

Hi Dot:
Thanks for sending your paper on the ZPD. Mahn & John-Steiner's article
on the "Gift of Confidence" can be found in the Wells & Caxton text.
Best wishes,

Dot Robbins wrote:
> Dear Friends,
> Many thanks for pushing us into newer understandings of the ZPD. Phil, Vesna, Lois, Volker, Carrie, others have helped me very much. Here are a couple of things:
> *Sorry, mea culpa. My mistake was this: the unity of the cognitive/affective is the understanding of perezhivanie. The “zone of fusion” (Andy, from xmca Oct. 12, 2000) represents the unity of both the individual and the social, while guarding the uniqueness of both. (! At the very bottom of the page I am adding a quote from Davydov for an understanding that fits my interpretation of the zone of fusion. Delete if not interested)
> *“We need to see each other in order to understand each other.” Again, sorry for that. In the example of Volker having us “perform” at the 2006 conference, we clearly saw each other before the performance and after….what I meant was that by entering into a new, playful activity, many of us somehow shed our “masks” of ego, to join in the recognition of viewing others as a real community. It is a part of the magic of a “living” ZPD, focusing to some extent on the experimental-genetic method, to simply “bracket” (from the “bracketing principle” in phenomenology) judgment by returning to a basic understanding of where the other person is coming from, within a genotypic (as opposed to phenotypic) point of view, and an analysis of process (not product), etc.
> *Performance: At the All Stars Workshop at Canarsie High School in Brooklyn, New York, a beautiful woman spoke to the young participants this way (paraphrased): “If you get anything out of this workshop, I want you to be self-conscious that anything you do in your life is a performance. Walking down the street or interacting with your mother is a performance. You can decide if you want to be reactive, or if you want to talk. You can hit someone or write a poem.” The paradox is that this view of performance makes us conscious of our actions, the roles we decide to play…..When I teach, it is a performance, but I normally feel that my true “essence” is at the forefront, the self I want to be, in order to spark the imagination and motivation of my students (no matter what I teach, or what levels). Stanislavky’s “grip” is important for me to try and turn a simple classroom into an atmosphere of “magic” for the students, hoping that they thrive in such an atmosphere, and pass
> it on. Students read the “subtext” of my persona immediately, and Stanislavsky once referred to his theory of acting as the theory of “emotional experience.”
> *ZPD: I will attach my 2001 paper on the ZPD, trying to look at the history of the ZPD, and the 14 most important points (at that time). It was edited and put into a book in 2003. There was an international conference in 2000 in Moscow/Zvenigorod, Belaya Kaytva on the ZPD, and a number of interesting articles have not been published in the West to date. I will scan them and see how to make them more available. And, there was a symposium in 2000 at the American Association of Applied Linguistics on the ZPD. Gordon Wells spoke of the ZPD within a “personal transformation,” Vera John-Steiner identified the ZPD as “the gift of dignity,” and Tim Murphey created the “zone of approximal adjustments.” I love the idea of a “zone of people’s development,” Vesna. I am hoping people will read Lois’s ideas that take the ZPD out of theoretical definitions into real life. She states that the ZPD is not “a” zone….it is an activity, a “life space.”
> Best to each of you,
> Dot
> References
> Kravtsova, E., & V. Spiridonov (2001). Works from the Vygotsky Institute of Psychology. Russian State University for the Humanities. University publication. Articles in English by: L. Albert & C. McKee, A. Bilics, G. Claxton, S. Gettys, C. Lerch, D. Robbins.
> Newman, F., & L. Holzman (2006). Unscientific Psychology: A Cultural-Performatory Approach to Human Understanding. iUniverse, Inc.
> Robbins, D. (2003). Vygotsky’s and A. A. Leontiev’s Semiotics and Psychologuistics: Applications for Education, Second Language Acquisition, and Theories of Language. Westport, CT: Praeger.
> Wells, G. (1999). Dialogic inquiry: Toward a sociocultural practice and theory of education. New York: Cambridge University Press.
> "zone of fusion"!So, feel free to hit the delete bottom here, as I do want to offer a longer theoretical quote. Peter Moxhay is a voice I respect very much. He has translated a book from V. V. Davydov (Problems of Developmental Instruction), and I sincerely feel that this book will help all of us in clarifying so many past points of discussions on xmca, and hopefully Peter’s translation (a real labor of dedication to Davydov) will be out in a few months….In the introduction, Davydov states: “A person’s social or collective life enables him, using the means of the ideal plane, to separate off his activity from himself and to represent it as a special object that can be transformed, even before this activity is realized in actuality. Then the person can see, evaluate and consider his own activity from the position of the other members of the collective. Within his own activity, the individual person creates an ideal representation of the positions of other people. The
> person’s reproduction of an ideal image of his activity, and of an ideal representation within it of the positions of other people, may be called consciousness. Consciousness cannot be studied in isolation from the ideal or from activity; these exist in an indissoluble unity, with activity predominating. However, each of these formations, and all of them together, can be understood only through the totality of social relations that is the essence of the human.”
> Dorothy (Dot) Robbins
> Professor of German
> Russian Orphanage Vyschgorod
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Dr. M. Cathrene Connery
Assistant Professor of Education
Ithaca College
xmca mailing list
Received on Wed Feb 13 11:02 PST 2008

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