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Re: [xmca] Internalization of performance standards
Hello, everyone. I'm new on the block.
Valerie Wilkinson, teacher of language and communication in Japan.
I'm new to Vygotsky, as well. You might as well think of me as unread,
I recently read Engestrom's book, Learning by Expanding, which was more
or less my introduction to Vygotsky and Zone of Proximal Development.
He also spoke glowingly of Bateson... whose Mind and Nature was crucial
to framing my own educational perspective. I try to teach Communication
experientially in Japan. Systems thinking applied at the nested levels
of autonomy, the dyad, the group, the organization, networking and
issues of mapping.
So, why I am piping up all of a sudden about internalization of
performance standards is because I'm researching "tacit knowledge"
described by Polanyi. So doing some lineage work, I find that Polanyi
was influenced by "gestalt" and Thomas Kuhn (paradigm shift) was
influenced by Polanyi. Kurt Lewin was connected to Festinger
(cognitive dissonance) but was there any connection with Bateson
(double bind)? George Mead leads to Goffman. Bateson (play) leads into
Goffman (play). So go back a bit to Bertalanffy General Systems Theory
which is contemporaneous with Cybernetics (Bateson, Wiener, Margaret
Mead) about pattern and analogue in natural/living system - and these
guys were talking about self-regulation and self-organization. Then it
turns out that Bertalanffy was probably influenced by Alexander
To some extent the descriptive systems and hypotheses of these people
from Poland, Belarus, Canada, and Switzerland (Piaget) could occur
simultaneously and still have a large degree of concurrence, but still,
what happens to me (I'm into Paolo Freire and Myles Horton and Dewey is
big) in my quest to tie experiential/peer (isn't peer learning close to
zpd?) /community learning to stuff students learn at school has to do
with these (above) people (plus of course Argyris and Senge). So I'm
now taking Vygotsky on board.
I know these are the tip of the iceburg and I haven't even included the
Karl Pribam and David Bohm's holonomic memory and holographically
Well, um. All these names aren't going to get at internalization of
performance standards, but "know how" and Polanyi's tacit knowledge and
a model like Demings' profound knowledge - and the whole thrust of
Freire's community learning seem to suggest that the vital
developmental/emergent discussion is going on all over the world - then
NCLB standards get thrust on top down in the States. (What is actually
happening in California right now, anyway.) In Japan in the 50s,
companies at the executive level took on (accepted) Deming's bottom up
approach voluntarily - and I think the context in which the community
presents the standards, and the values implicit in those standards
(which can be critiqued and "tested" over time - it takes time) matter
enormously. The children learn amazingly beautiful whole complex worlds
in contexts that have care and heart and passion - they also learn in
spite of tangled dry evaluation approaches. Where am I going? Oh, I
teach students of technology and 18, 19, 20 year olds can learn tons in
experiential/peer/community contexts but the institution well, the
whole disease of institution is it can't afford the time to do more
than pay lip service while promulgating an environment that
demonstrates that time/money/statistics (scores) command all.
I have a very hard time getting my learners to the self-evaluation
Anyway, back to Deming, and internalizing standards (something from
Some of his 14 points.
8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the
company. (See Ch. 3 of "Out of the Crisis")
11. a. Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor.
b. Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers,
numerical goals. Substitute workmanship.
12. a. Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride
of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from
sheer numbers to quality.
b. Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of
their right to pride of workmanship. This means, inter alia,
abolishment of the annual or merit rating and of management by
objective (See Ch. 3 of "Out of the Crisis").
13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
Deming had an amazing opportunity to teach a whole country's industry a
cooperative practice and raise industrial/ community standards. I would
say they were internalized to a large extent, at least for a while.
Meanwhile he was neglected in his own country. Thirty years later we
"found" him. By the way, some of the companies in Japan that did
spectacularly well using his standards have abandoned them
scandalously. And the test driven educational system seems immovable...
I do apologize for entering this discussion on internalization of
performance standards with such a barrage of "where I'm coming from",
but the discussions I'm reading here are so plainly connected to what I
am aiming for, with tacit knowledge, mind and nature, and
self-organization/regulation etc. that I can well see how much I need
what Vygotsky was doing, yet at the same time, I have a bit of
something in common with what you all are talking about having read
what I read and tried what I tried here for the last twenty some years
- and since I've seen Dewey and Goffman in these pages, I know the
doors are open to have all of our academic history/culture available to
Here is what I can say in response to what Carol wrote:
Our Japanese students (my sons among them) go from 1st to 6th grade,
then 7th to 9th with their neighborhood cohort. They all know each
other very well. The "sorting" comes at age 15 when they take entrance
exams for high schools with various goals and in different locations.
If these students were exposed to a project utilizing zpd as a group, I
feel sure they would do amazing things. But it would require something
extra for them to change a personal position/expectation within the
group which they both forged/were relegated to for years and I'm
guessing the personal zpd has a different trajectory from that of the
group because of personality and family factors... Still, the
attentive would note the climate, the performance, and if in marked
contrast to the standard school fare, they might even get the whole
point - but they might not actually articulate it for themselves until
a few years downstream. First year high school students (a new group)
might be in a position to demonstrate personal changes and find the
freedom to develop, but then, of course, the teachers don't know them
yet, having no "standard" to compare the new students with except for
former years of students - which isn't the same thing if you are doing
something new. The culture of working with zpd in the institution would
take several years to be established, if the institution didn't do what
it can so easily do to disrupt the development of that culture...
On 2009.Mar.26, at 09:38 AM, Ed Wall wrote:
The empirical is, I think, the most interesting and what you
point at seems somehow right although what is happening - i.e.
what/how is being internalized - is what I'm wondering about. If I do
some metaphorical matching with other internalizations, then things
On Mar 25, 2009, at 2:55 AM, Carol Macdonald wrote:
A humble empirical observation from Carol:
In recent work with a student on promoting the zpd in the English
in an ideal situation (only 20 girls in the class) and explicitly
concept of the double move (Hedegaard), and the group zpd (H and also
Wells). Granted this research was only 6 months in length, the girls'
performance was radically affected for the better, including their
motivation and pride. *However the ranking of *t*heir **competence
that's my term) in the class stayed exactly the same as had surfaced
regular pedagogy. *I like (to help students) to work with broad and
zpd's (and teach usinga crocodile jaws picture), and must surely say
this research context, that the relative width of the learners' zpd is
preserved in the analysis of the classes' peformance. What does this
for a single student...does it mean that she is *only* able to
the task to a previously established limit? *Sure, the groups did
than any individual (Gordon's notion), but laying underneath there
be a limiting condition. I think this speaks to internalization, but
"terms and conditions" attached. I do hope I have made myself
certainly get slightly anxious about the situation, or more aptly my
ability to explain this in another way.
PS. NCLB is in our SA curriculum, and it's so naive about learning
not worth discussing.
2009/3/25 Mike Cole <email@example.com>
We are discussing the homology (?) (maybe wrong word) between
individual and activity/organizational level.
This might go macro to Goffman, not sure.
passing and management are closely releated to
appropriation and appropriate, i think.
On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 8:36 PM, Ed Wall <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Well, if you put it that way (smile), you take me back, in a sense,
Goffman and face work (and, perhaps, elsewhere) and I would say
happen at the organizational level and it may not just be an
internalized individuals. In fact, I wonder if any individual need
internalize. That is, the They is actually anonymous.
On Mar 24, 2009, at 11:20 PM, Mike Cole wrote:
Yes. We appear to be talking past each other with lots of bemused
I misinterpreted your first message because I had this
quick response to the word "standards" which in my
life comes up most often in the NCLB context. You quite
But I got to thinking, as I often do, about internalization
at the level of individuals and of organizations. Hence my response.
In YOUR context (now) I believe we agree.
PS-- Do you think I am totally off the wall in drawing an analogy
internalization at the individual and organizational levels?
aside). Certainly very possible!!!
On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 8:14 PM, Ed Wall <email@example.com> wrote:
I'm sorry, I have no real interest in NCLB (that isn't true,
in this context). I was referring to the sense in which Bodrova and
seem to be using it. You seem to recognize that sense?
On Mar 24, 2009, at 11:04 PM, Mike Cole wrote:
Ed-- I do not have the refs to hand, but there is quite a
the impact of NCLBehind on classroom
Peter S and many others. Help!!
On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 5:42 PM, Ed Wall <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
There is always the question of the Other and volumes have
written on this. However, it is the process of this type of
in which I'm interested as it seems to be always simultaneously
and crucial. So as you say THAT, might you say more about THAT
point me, as you have graciously done, in the direction?
On Mar 24, 2009, at 8:29 PM, Mike Cole wrote:
Oh, THAT kind of performance standards. I was missing the
we internalize the expectations that others have of us.
Shifting contexts to the level of national educational policy
the context I created with your words) provides an sort of
to think about the extent to which no child left behind standards
internalized. At the institutional level, a lot in some places
the way in which classrooms have been changed into test driven
and accepted as "appropriate" (having been appropriated!).
On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 3:01 PM, Ed Wall <email@example.com> wrote:
The idea behind such a phrasing, if I understand correctly,
to predate Aristotle (he says something like "We think it proper
young to be modest, because as they live by feeling they often
modesty may keep them in check"), but such wording (i.e.
of performance standards') appears in Elena Bodrova and Deborah
Tools of the Mind so I had assumed that it was somewhat usual.
On Mar 24, 2009, at 12:43 AM, Mike Cole wrote:
Could you expand please, Ed? I am not certain of what you mean.
On Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 5:03 PM, Ed Wall <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In some reading I've been doing the notion of, one might say,
'internalization of performance standards' appears. I have the
that Vygotsky thought something like thist and/or some of those
Any places I can look for more information?
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Valerie A. Wilkinson, Ph.D.
Professor of Communication
Faculty of Information, Shizuoka University
3-5-1 Johoku, Hamamatsu, Japan 432-8011
phone 81 (53) 478-1529
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