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Re: [xmca] Message in a Bottle Erratum

I am waaaaay behind in this discussion, Paula. I know
David has written more on this and I have to read that too. But phrase
really helped me
with respect to point of view.

When you say complexes must be left at the schoolroom door you are talking
about walking
in; I was thinking about the fate of scientific concepts when you walk out
or never walk in.
You write about this too, but I do not want to waste your time by responding
too superficially
to be of any use and I am sure David's follow on comments are important too.
So, until

Yes, DVD arrived, thanks! All I need now is to locate it at a time when I
can sit and study it.
We have two heavy weeks of academic end of year work to go. I like to think
it is a light,
not an oncoming train, at the end of the tunnel.

On Thu, May 28, 2009 at 5:05 AM, Paula M Towsey <paulat@johnwtowsey.co.za>wrote:

> Dear Mike
> In rummaging around with Chapter Five's blocks, I've come to look at ways
> of
> thinking from syncretic representations through to abstract mathematical
> and
> scientific ones as a range of different forms of pre+conceptual
> representation that are based on different kinds of rules.  The form and
> content of these representations are unique, then, to the rules that are
> being invoked in particular social situations of learning.  This might
> sound
> like stating the obvious, but what this perspective helps me to do is view
> Vygotsky's ideas of school concepts as ways of thinking that happen to
> invoke particular rules - abstract, logical, systematised, hierarchical,
> language-bound, and so on.  It also helps me to agree with you about
> institutionalised concepts not being the sole privilege of conceptual
> formations.
> But where the transition from complexes to concepts - whether these are
> everyday or scientific concepts - is likely to happen is in a schooling
> environment, and in the sense of what happens at school, complexes do need
> to be left at the school door.  But not really left there entirely: David's
> expression is that the new forms arise from the ashes of what went before;
> and Vygotsky says of generalisation in "real" (rather than the artificial
> concepts of the blocks studies) concepts that "the products of the
> intellectual activity of the earlier phases are not lost".  This is what I
> want to look closely at over the next while (at the developmental side to
> this).  So, the toolkit is added to and, over time, several kinds of ways
> of
> thinking are more likely to take up predominance.
> Except when we're faced with new things (words or situations):  then,
> because we're outsiders, or novices, we'll probably have difficulty
> distinguishing between the essential and the functional aspects of whatever
> it is we are now faced with.  We'll probably flounder around a bit back in
> the concrete, factual way of dealing with things before we're able to
> abstract what the essentials really are.  The difference between this
> abstracting faculty of an adult and the concrete and factual approaches of
> an eight-year-old, for example, is that adults can anddo, whereas the
> eight-year-old's way of thinking makes perfect and logical sense to him
> (did
> your DVD eventually arrive, Mike?).
> But I don't see everyday thinking as synonymous with complexitive thinking,
> although there are overlaps in the kinds of rules involved. It seems to me
> that concepts are a range of conceptual representations from everyday
> generalised representations of things to academic/scientific concepts,
> which
> are formed by generalisation working in harmony with abstraction and
> presided over by a signifying use of language to produce an abstract/ed
> notion of particular principled, bounded system.
> In any case, I think the enrichment of one by the other - and creativity
> too? - continues for a long time...
> Best regards
> Paula
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
> Behalf Of Mike Cole
> Sent: 28 May 2009 06:07 AM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Message in a Bottle Erratum
> I get the idea of true concepts depending upon schooling, David and Paula.
> But i am sceptical of the conclusions you appear to agree upon on two
> grounds.
> 1. I do not believe that school is the only institutional setting that
> induces thinking in concepts. Perhaps LSV did.
> 2. I do not believe, and I believe there textual evidence to show that
> Vygotsky believed that they were left at the school door. Schooling adds to
> the toolkit. It does not uniformly replaced the prior toolkit of everyday
> thinking.
> Am misinterpreting the significance of what you two are saying?
> mike
> On Wed, May 27, 2009 at 6:31 PM, David Kellogg
> <vaughndogblack@yahoo.com>wrote:
> > Paula just sent me something quite kind about my Message in a Bottle.
> > Praise from Paula is praise indeed, particularly where Chapter Five of
> T&S
> > is concerned.
> >
> > I was just letting it go to my head and linger when I noticed the
> following
> > stupid mistake:
> >
> > "So in this sense the new theory in which concepts (sic) are left at the
> > school door is not entirely inconsistent with the old theory according to
> > which thinking in concepts really only takes place in the transitional
> age
> > (i.e. adolescence)."
> >
> > Of course, it's COMPLEXES that the 1934 Vygotsky is suggesting may be
> left
> > at the school door. Sorry, I must have left my head on the subway
> yesterday;
> > usually it's just my hat.
> >
> > David Kellogg
> > Seoul National University of Education
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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> >
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