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

From: Andy Blunden <ablunden who-is-at>
Date: Fri Jun 20 2008 - 00:07:37 PDT


When I gave the USA as an example of a "project" I meant
this to convey the idea that "project" is something
objective. So it is significantly true that two people may
be interacting with each other while involved in two
different projects, but it is not just something inside the
head. It arises socially and can be determined objectively.
Naturally, the misalignment of projects is an issue. If a
teacher is involved in a project of education, a child needs
to be recruited to that project.

I certainly agree that "project" not= "environment". That's
the point. The "environment," as I understand it, is a
passive surround/context from which the subject gains
resources or cues. A person is an active participant in a
project though. I think all projects are going somewhere,
though they probably are not normally undergoing "development."

There is always an element of "A rose is a rose by any other
name" in these questions. That's why I tried to indicate the
provenance I had in mind, viz., pragamtic interpretations of
Hegelian Gestalten. Very much a *social* kind of thing. :)
I do not have an Existentialist conception in mind.


David Kellogg wrote:
> 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

Andy Blunden +61 3 9380 9435 
Skype andy.blunden
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Received on Fri Jun 20 00:10 PDT 2008

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