Re: [xmca] How is Microgenesis Different From Learning?

From: Lara Beaty <larabeaty who-is-at>
Date: Wed Jul 09 2008 - 12:33:04 PDT


I don't know if this example is any good, but the way I've been thinking
about it is this: An example of learning is when one reads a new word and
its definition and it makes sense. An example of microgenesis would be when
that word enters one's vocabulary and becomes a tool for thinking. What do
you think? And do you think this could be extended to show the difference
between a microgenetic change and an ontogenetic change?


On Mon, Jul 7, 2008 at 7:58 PM, David Kellogg <>

> This seems like a dumb question, but it flickers in front of my eyes when I
> try to read the article for discussion.
> How is microgenesis (or logogenesis, to use the Hallidayan terminology)
> different from learning?
> Being a rather lazy thinker, I spent a number of years thinking that
> microgenesis is just a fancy name for learning, in the same way that
> ontogenesis is nothing but a Greek word for the more Latinate "development".
> Now I know better. As the name suggests, it is a microcosm of development,
> a miniature longitudinal study in ontogenesis, and of course development is
> revolutionary and qualitative in a way that learning is not. I also know
> that the relationship between learning and development has to be indirect,
> while the relationship between microgenesis and ontogenesis has to
> be direct. Finally, I have a sense that microgenesis is in some way
> intra-mental and restructional and transfomationalatory while learning is
> more inter-mental and communicationary and transactionalizing (to coin a
> phrase).
> But then I'm stuck. I can't think of a single example that shows a clear
> difference. And until I do, the distinction is just empty verbalism to me.
> I know it's there but I can't picture it..
> David Kellogg
> Seoul National University of Education
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Received on Wed Jul 9 12:34 PDT 2008

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