[xmca] apology to dialectic and more on "At Risk"

From: <ERIC.RAMBERG who-is-at spps.org>
Date: Thu Dec 11 2008 - 08:15:48 PST

O.K. so now that I have vented about my frustration with the dialectic (a
philosophy I embrace by the way) I will try to clarify my initial thinking
about 'at risk' and what possibly could be done to address this in the
realm of public funding. No I can't sove the problem but perhaps I could
start a bit of a noise about how researchers could refocus attention upon
activity that facilitates the development of conceptual thinking. To
one-dimensionalize the learner (as mike so aptly points out what the term
'at risk' does) dismbodies development from the cultural-historical setting
and insists individuals grow in a vacuum. For instance the Fifth dimension
has documented that students increase their academic skills in the fifth
dimension type environment. There is not the label of 'at risk' tied to
the students attending these programs but rather any and all students can
benefit from such a program. Lois Holzman's performance community has
great success in developing the minds of young people and once again 'at
risk' is not the label used to define the population performing such a
task. Does Ilyenkov's universal fit into defining how these programs are
successful, yes, yes and yes. But the etheral nature of dialectic
philosophy is such that it does not impress the bean counters. Do I detest
the bean counters and the money changers? Hell yeah! Are they a reality
that is ever goint to go away? Not likely. What does impress the bean
counters is success that is measurable and language that they are familiar
with. Perhaps pointing out how 'at-risk' one-dimensionalizes the issue and
then restating the same problem in a CHAT perspective, headway could be
made towards reducing this leviathon of high-stakes testing and new
language could be utilized that would allow a change in how education and
other programs are funded. I realize that new language has been introduced
but more importantly as Foucoult points out what is necessary for change to
occur is that language hold's discursive power. Something currently that
'at risk' holds.


                      s.org To: mcole@weber.ucsd.edu, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
                      Sent by: <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
                      xmca-bounces@web cc:
                      er.ucsd.edu Subject: Re: [xmca] "At Risk"
                      12/10/2008 09:32
                      Please respond
                      to "eXtended
                      Mind, Culture,

Yes Mike, you summarize the issue very well. I believe the answer is
qualitative research but I am frustrated to no end that all the great
dialectic minds come up with is Ilenkyov's universal. What can that do???


                      "Mike Cole"

                      <lchcmike@gmail. To: "eXtended Mind,
Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
                      com> cc:

                      Sent by: Subject: Re: [xmca] "At


                      12/09/2008 07:17


                      Please respond

                      to mcole; Please

                      respond to

                      "eXtended Mind,



You raise an important issue, Eric.
Seems like the only way to get the kind of measurement that is demanded by
accountability mavens/funding agencies, is to one or two or three
the issue in question, thereby squeezing the life out of the living
phenomenon. A
kind of strategic "de-systematizing" that denies murders to dissect, but
raw meat for accountability.

This strategy can produce interesting results. For example, the famous
of Emmy Werner on risk factors associated with being born on Kuai. On the
independent variable side: birth size, ethnicity, income, parents ed, etc
and on the
dependent variable side, success in school, death rate, encounters with the

Risky term, at risk. Being characterized by 2 or more risk factors in the
Kaui study
was not good for your health.


On Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 12:29 PM, <ERIC.RAMBERG@spps.org> wrote:

> The discussion about the Luke's article and the Stetsenko and Sawshuck
> given me food for thought about the term 'at-risk'. For the funding of
> numerous programs in public education and social programs they dollars
> tied to students or clients identified as 'at risk'. "At risk' can mean
> what part of a city a person lives in, income level of a family,
> nationality, tribal afiliation, etc. On the other had the Center for
> Disease Control and Prevention the term is used for those individuals who
> are susceptible catching a particular disease or virus. For example,
> because of the population of students I work with (severely emotional
> disturbed) I have to participate in OSHA regulated blood-borne pathogens.
> This definition I believed has transformed from the field of social work
> and of course the field of social work is a direct descendent of Mills,
> Durkheim and the like. Is it possible to define the term "at risk" from
> the dialectic perspective? Is it possible to measure prevention of
> disease? Is it possible to measure the increase in quality of life from
> the introduction of programs for the 'at risk' populations?
> what do others think?
> eric
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