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[Xmca-l] Re: Winn's Exploring the Literate Trajectories of Youth across Time and Space


At first I didn't get at all what the connection between the discussion of
Ilyenkov and Maisha's work, but I think its a great idea to discuss the
question you pose. Is "literacy" idealized differently in the two
communities of practice (school and outside-school)? I have difficulty
keeping straight with ideas such as "subjective image of reality" but there
seems to be little doubt that there are different values being embodied in
standard school literacy practices and the multi-modal, multi-generational
practices in the sites that Maisha describes. Seems like this could be a
useful lens for addressing my question about how.when.under-what-conditions
the practices and associated values of an evening get together at a
community center can
be at least part of a high school educational curriculum.

Only sometimes under special conditions seems to be the answer. Is that
answer accepted in
Ed schools these days?


On Mon, Mar 30, 2015 at 1:08 PM, Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu> wrote:

> OK, I hit send accidentally. To continue:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Smagorinsky
> Sent: Monday, March 30, 2015 4:02 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: RE: [Xmca-l] Re: Winn's Exploring the Literate Trajectories of
> Youth across Time and Space
> I'm going to do some exploratory thinking here, so please pardon the
> half-baked nature of what follows (half-baked is a long-time value on xmca
> in its embrace of thoughts in emergent process).
> Winn's article has gotten little traction as a discussion topic, so I'll
> combine it with something that's gotten even less attention, an article
> that someone (Annalisa, I think) sent awhile back and that I'm re-attaching
> here.
> I'm focusing on the early section about Ilyenkov's notion of the ideal,
> which I can't say I completely grasp. So please bear with me as I grope my
> way through this effort to link the two articles. I'll paste in the section
> of the attachment that I see as potentially, if I'm getting this right,
> helpful in understanding Winn's essay:
> Although there is a considerable literature in the West that focuses on
> the rôle of language in the social production of consciousness, what sets
> Ilyenkov apart is
> his distinction between language and the ideal. For Ilyenkov, language is
> not the ideal, but
> its ‘objectified being’,27 its material form. he ideal does not exist in
> language for Ilyenkov,
> or in other material phenomena, but in forms of human activity. His entry
> on the ideal in
> the 1962 encyclopædia-article defines it as ‘the subjective image of
> objective reality, i.e. a
> reflection of the external world in forms of human activity, in forms of
> its consciousness
> and will’.28 One can think of the ideal as the significance that matter
> assumes in the process
> of its transformation by human activity. In other words, it is only
> in-and-through human
> activity that matter takes on the character of an object with significance.
> To be clear, Ilyenkov was not referring only to parts of the material
> world that individuals
> directly transform, but to all matter that society comes ‘in contact’
> with. Idealisation is, for
> him, a social phenomenon. In the same encyclopædia-entry, he wrote:
> An ideal image, say of bread, may arise in the imagination of a hungry man
> or of
> a baker. In the head of a satiated man occupied with building a house,
> ideal bread
> does not arise. But if we take society as a whole, ideal bread and ideal
> houses are
> always in existence, as well as any ideal object with which humanity is
> concerned
> in the process of production and reproduction of its real, material life.
> his
> includes the ideal sky, as an object of astronomy, as a ‘natural
> calendar’, a clock,
> and compass. In consequence of that, all of nature is idealised in
> humanity and
> not just that part which it immediately produces or reproduces or consumes
> in a
> practical way.29
> >From this perspective, all matter appears in individual consciousness
> already transformed
> and idealised by the activity of previous generations, and this ideal
> informs the individual’s
> activity in the present.
> OK, back to me. What I'm wondering is this: Is "literacy" idealized
> differently in the two communities of practice (school and outside-school)?
> In school, at least formally, literacy is idealized as the "proper" use of
> language in textual production and composition, with only the most formal
> versions acceptable as evidence of literate performance. Adherence to
> formal rules is the only way to meet the scholastic ideal. At the same
> time, as soon as kids leave class and go into the hall, other ideals become
> available, at least for 5 minutes of passing time.
> Outside school, the whole world of literacy possibilities become
> available, with many ideals to guide production. The discourse genres that
> govern spoken word performances for the communities of practice that Winn
> focuses on are one possibility, but there are countless possibilities that
> suit different trajectories.
> Well, hope that makes some sense. I'm entirely open to the possibility
> that I've misunderstood Ilyenkov in seeking a way to understand him via
> Winn. As we say in the South: What do y'all think? p

"Each new level of development is a new relevant context." C.H. Waddington