RE: [Spam:***** ] RE: [xmca] The power of internalization isoverwhelmingly pervasive

From: Michael G. Levykh <mglevykh who-is-at>
Date: Wed Aug 06 2008 - 10:17:19 PDT

Thank you, Eric, for "nudging" our discussion towards the originally
intended direction. While acknowledging that Adler emphasized the human need
to belong, I speculate that if one asks "What this need is based on?" one
might find a possibly surprising answer: It feels good (to belong, to be
accepted by others, especially those whose opinion we care about). Of
course, the complexity of this "feeling good" is enormous on many different
levels. It changes not only with the environment we live in (and the
relationships with people, states, etc.), but also with the changes we
(individually) experience within ourselves. Although being a "sidelight" in
this discussion, bullying, in my opinion, can be used as a mechanism (or
even a tool) to achieve a certain approval of one group (class, race, issue,
even point of view) at the expense of others.

To connect this discussion with internalization, people internalize not only
what (the message, the content, information, behaviour) we teach, but - what
is more important - how we teach, our affective relationships to our
subject, to other students, and to ourselves. Internalization is
future-oriented; it is, at the same time, a result of those relationships
and the driving force behind them. It is also the process that reflects who
we are, for we usually internalize (or approve) what and how we want to
internalize. After all, the students that we teach are all "agentic"
individuals. And, while I agree with Roger's comment (No Preaching! Just
give them opportunity to question and think.), in my opinion, educators MUST
DO much more than that (mind you, giving the students opportunities might
also be empowering).

That is why I think Elinami's comments are at the heart of the issue: "we
know bullying when we see it. And we know our capacities to change things,
even if it means being unpopular. We should work to do just that, work
towards changing bully culture." And it is absolutely the whole "culture" -
not just those who bully, but also those who allow bullying to happen) that
needs to be changed. It should be the endeavour of our heads and our hearts.
Yet, such "revolution" must also be gentle, for, as Catharine reminds us,
"There is nothing stronger than gentleness; nothing is more gentle than true


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Cathrene Connery
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:34 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [Spam:***** ] RE: [xmca] The power of internalization
isoverwhelmingly pervasive

Michael and Colleagues,
What a provoking and refreshing conversation. Bullying is an important
topic to scholars whose work involves the centrality of language,
literacy, and sociocultural studies. While Peter is correct that we
cannot essentialize large and diverse groups of people, I think it is
important that we look at the guts of the issue of "relationship" in our
society. It is intellectually more comfortable for us to name the abuse
of power at the macro level in war, global warming, ect.,however, we do
not have to look much further than rape statistics to recognize something
is truly wrong with American society: 1/4 females is raped by 18 and 1/3
by 40 years. Similarly, 1/5-7 males are raped by 18 in the U.S. At the
same time, I agree with Peter: most people engage in kind acts that
counteract the violence in our society. But imagine what we miht achieve
without the replication of these multiple forms of violence in our social
networks including the school????

A long time ago, I ran across the poem, "There is nothing stronger than
gentleness; nothing is more gentle than true strength."

It is hopeful and inspiring to know there are scholars, researchers, and
educationists who consider the nature, significance, and quality of
relationship at the micro and macro levels in their professional and
personal lives.


 Thank you, Elinami,
> Your message is, without any doubt, empowering. You are right; we have to
> be
> very careful with the power we possess. It is both a privilege and
> responsibility to make sure our students internalize not only what (the
> message, the content, information, behaviour) we teach, but - what is more
> important - how we teach, our affective relationships to our subject, to
> other students, and to ourselves. I am sure we can all relate to Tutu's
> (2004, April 20; UBC; Vancouver) realistic evaluation of possibly negative
> educational outcomes: "education produced brilliant scientists who have
> used
> their knowledge for evil."
> So, to re-address one of my previously stated questions: "How can
> educators
> expect anything other than (relational) bullying in schools when such a
> vast
> majority of society [educators included] engages in the very act?" Or
> putting it differently, "If not for the sake of establishing a false sense
> of power, then why do educators resort to participation in what can only
> be
> called relational bullying (where gossip, hearsay, and rumours rule)?"
> Anyone?
> Cheers,
> Michael
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On
> Behalf Of Elinami Swai
> Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 2008 2:13 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: Re: [xmca] The power of internalization is overwhelmingly
> pervasive
> Michael et al. Thank you for a very interesting discussion. I think it
> is possible to achieve power without making others powerless; and
> impossible to achieve power amidst the powerless. If a father fights
> his four years old daughter, we cannot say he has power because power
> can only be measured against power, not against powerlessness. I don't
> see how one can achieve power by bullying. A powerful teacher is the
> one who empowers her/his students. His power emanates from, as you
> said, the respect from students and learning outcomes. Bully teachers
> are feared, they make their students internalize anger, resentfulness
> and it is hard for them to learn in such a relationship. Her/his
> power/powerlessness can be measured against the achievement of her/his
> goal.
> Elinami
> On Tue, Aug 5, 2008 at 3:33 PM, Michael G. Levykh <>
> wrote:
>> Thank you, Roger, for your very interesting insight.
>> I am sure that your students internalize well not only the content of
>> your
>> subject due to the safe and positive emotional environment established
>> by
>> you, but they also internalize the environment itself; hence, becoming
>> resentful to others' negativities (e.g., spreading unfounded rumours)
>> and
>> respectful of others.
>> I completely support the belief that respecting others relates to
> "treating
>> others as we [teachers] would want to be treated." Here, is probably one
> of
>> the best examples of achieving and maintaining power on many levels
>> based
> on
>> caring, nurturing, and overall supportive positive environment. Is it
>> possible to achieve power without making others powerless? What do
>> others
>> think about it?
>> Cheers,
>> Michael.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: []
>> On
>> Behalf Of
>> Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 2008 11:13 AM
>> To:
>> Subject: Re: [xmca] The power of internalization is overwhelmingly
> pervasive
>> Michael,
>> Last summer, I received basic training in neuro-linguistic programming.
>> I
>> was greatly concerned when I recognized our ability as teachers to
> influence
>> our students in a away that they are unaware of our imprinting within
> their
>> subconscious. I have begun to recornize these tactics used in the media.
>> I have begun to see that I actually create reality for my students in my
>> classroom for the time that they are there. I am more careful now then
> ever
>> before. Because my discipline (mathematics) is seldom a free choice of
>> my
>> students, I spend extra time creating a welcoming, fun environment. The
>> classroom is a social entity and I provide time us to get to know each
>> other. Once they are having fun, teaching them college Algebra or
> statistics
>> is easy. And even though my tests and projects are demanding, they thank
> me
>> at the end of the course.?I also rely heavily on group learning and
>> student-to-student dialog.
>> I believe that it critical that we respect our students as individuals
>> and
>> treat them as we would want to be treated.
>> Roger
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Michael G. Levykh <>
>> To: 'eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity' <>
>> Sent: Mon, 4 Aug 2008 10:58 pm
>> Subject: RE: [xmca] The power of internalization is overwhelmingly
> pervasive
>> I wanted to thank those few who responded (not via xmca, but directly)
>> to
> my
>> previous email. For those who, for whatever reason, missed my previous
> email
>> and find the topic of internalization interesting enough, I attached
>> some
>> "bits and pieces" related to the concept of internalization and emotions
> vs.
>> exteriorization and appropriation from my unpublished PhD thesis.
>> Please,
> do
>> not quote!
>> However, in this email I wanted to share with all of you my thoughts on
> the
>> pervasive power of internalization. I am fascinated by how our brain (or
> is
>> it our mind?) works. We educators work extremely hard, for example, to
> deal
>> with the problems of bullying, specifically, the most vicious type,
>> relational bullying, where gossip, hearsay, and rumours rule. In Canada,
> for
>> instance, there are numerous calls from various educational groups and
>> organizations for updated legislation to allow treating online bullying
>> (cyber-bullying) as a criminal offence. It is, however, regrettably
>> common
>> to find many teachers-educators not only actively listening to others
>> spreading gossip, but - what is more disgusting - also witnessing those
> very
>> educators spreading the gossip themselves and even acting (or basing
>> their
>> decisions) upon the gossip - quite often without having any proven shred
> of
>> evidence. Yet, what fascinates me most is that some of those educators
>> belong to the field of educational psychology, and by their very nature
>> (professional and personal) are supposed to question the validity and
> verify
>> the legitimacy of any rumours and gossip. Unfortunately, it is only when
> one
>> is cornered legally, that one is forced to think whether there is any
> actual
>> evidence to what was so easily believed by many.
>> Now, isn't it fascinating that we, educators and psychologists, demand
>> one
>> thing from our students, colleagues, and even governments, but do the
>> complete opposite, and in that process, surely run the risks of ruining
> the
>> reputations and even lives of real and innocent people, and, hence, the
>> reputation of "education"? We talk the talk bu
>> t we don't walk the walk.
>> Perhaps, once internalized, even an unacceptable and distractive (for
>> self
>> and others) behaviour is hard to undo and change. The power of
>> internalization is overwhelmingly pervasive and astonishing, isn't it?
>> It would be nice to hear what others think about it.
>> Cheers,
>> Michael G. Levykh,
>> PhD candidate, Ed. Psych.
>> Sessional Instructor, SFU
>> _______________________________________________
>> xmca mailing list
>> _______________________________________________
>> xmca mailing list
>> _______________________________________________
>> xmca mailing list
> --
> Dr. Elinami Swai
> Womens' and Gender Studies
> University Hall 4220-A
> The University of Toledo
> Toledo, OH, 43606
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list

xmca mailing list

xmca mailing list
Received on Wed Aug 6 10:21 PDT 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon Sep 01 2008 - 00:30:02 PDT