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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, actually. 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 Bogdanov.

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 distributed cognition.

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 stage.

Anyway, back to Deming, and internalizing standards (something from Wikipedia):

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. Substitute leadership. 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 us.

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 become complicated.


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 classroom, in an ideal situation (only 20 girls in the class) and explicitly using the
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 (sorry that's my term) in the class stayed exactly the same as had surfaced with regular pedagogy. *I like (to help students) to work with broad and narrow zpd's (and teach usinga crocodile jaws picture), and must surely say that in
this research context, that the relative width of the learners' zpd is
preserved in the analysis of the classes' peformance. What does this mean for a single student...does it mean that she is *only* able to *conceptualise the task to a previously established limit? *Sure, the groups did better than any individual (Gordon's notion), but laying underneath there seems to be a limiting condition. I think this speaks to internalization, but with "terms and conditions" attached. I do hope I have made myself clear. I certainly get slightly anxious about the situation, or more aptly my lack of
ability to explain this in another way.


PS. NCLB is in our SA curriculum, and it's so naive about learning that it's
not worth discussing.

2009/3/25 Mike Cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>

We are discussing the homology (?) (maybe wrong word) between changes at
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.
bon soir

On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 8:36 PM, Ed Wall <ewall@umich.edu> wrote:

Well, if you put it that way (smile), you take me back, in a sense, to Goffman and face work (and, perhaps, elsewhere) and I would say yes it
happen at the organizational level and it may not just be an accumulation
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 appropriately
reoriented me.

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 between internalization at the individual and organizational levels? (Disinterest
aside). Certainly very possible!!!

On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 8:14 PM, Ed Wall <ewall@umich.edu> wrote:

I'm sorry, I have no real interest in NCLB (that isn't true, but
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 literature on
the impact of NCLBehind on classroom

Peter S and many others. Help!!

On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 5:42 PM, Ed Wall <ewall@umich.edu> wrote:

There is always the question of the Other and volumes have been
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 (smile)
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 context. e.g.
we internalize the expectations that others have of us.

Shifting contexts to the level of national educational policy (which
the context I created with your words) provides an sort of interesting
to think about the extent to which no child left behind standards were internalized. At the institutional level, a lot in some places judging
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 <ewall@umich.edu> wrote:


The idea behind such a phrasing, if I understand correctly, seems to predate Aristotle (he says something like "We think it proper for
young to be modest, because as they live by feeling they often err,
modesty may keep them in check"), but such wording (i.e.
of performance standards') appears in Elena Bodrova and Deborah J.
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 <ewall@umich.edu> wrote:

Hi Folks

 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?

Ed Wall

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Visiting Researcher,
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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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