Re: [xmca] How to conceive of the Social Situation of Development.

From: David Kellogg <vaughndogblack who-is-at>
Date: Thu Jun 19 2008 - 23:10:31 PDT

Andy, it's a very interesting project. Here are some problems I think need thinking:
a) A social situation of development is NOT the same thing as the social environment of learning. The latter is organized by a teacher; it's the teacher's project and not the learner's. But then how does the former lead the latter, as it must?
b) A social situation of development (for me) puts "social" before "development". This is because the society is the precondition for the development rather than vice versa; it's possible to imagine a society without development (the USA?) but not development without a society. "Project" seems to me to put development before social. Who is projecting what onto whom?
c) I already have a lot of trouble distinguishing between logogenesis (Halliday), microgenesis (Wertsch), learning (LSV) and development (ditto). "Project" seems to stand athwart all of these processes like a collossus. Yet isn't the way you define it really about ontogenesis rather than any of them?
d) Like you, I STRONGLY feel the need to find some other word than "activity". But perhaps the reason I feel this is the problem Kozulin points to (as LSV did before him). Any word, whether it be "activity", or "Gestalt", or "unconscious" or "personality", becomes meaningless if we ask it to explain too much; it becomes a frog trying to be as big as an ox. So what are the upper and lower limits of usefulness of the word "project"?
David Kellogg
Seoul National University of Education

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Received on Thu Jun 19 23:12 PDT 2008

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