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[Xmca-l] Re: "Mediation" as Error Correction

Hi David, Eli, & Colleagues:

An elegant summary; thank you so much! John-Steiner's interactionist  article could also be added inside David's synopsis of Lantolf's camp. 

Please, however, call me Cathrene. I don't mean to grumble. I'm still annoyed at CWU and the credit report agencies for insisting on using my first name in electronic correspondence. As a result, if people don't know that I abandoned Ithaca last August and returned to my former institution, they don't know it is ME who is writing. As the 3rd Mary Cathrene in 3 generations in my family of origin, I was never called Mary. Consequently, my credit report lists me purchasing a washing machine in the early 1960's when I wasn't even born until '64. My millenial students make me feel old enough. 

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. 
Dr. M. Cathrene Connery
Senior Lecturer 
Central Washington University
Language, Literacy, & Special Education
Ellensburg, WA 98927

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." ~Ghandi~

> On Feb 13, 2016, at 2:33 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
> Huw, Mary....
> Well, in the Dynamic Assessment literature there's a split. Some argue for
> "interventionist" DA, which works on the following assumptions:
> a) The ideal form is present in the curriculum which is given beforehand.
> b) The path to the ideal form is one of carefully graded "prompts" (similar
> to the cline I gave earlier, that is, a focus on:
> 1. The EXISTENCE of an error ("'This is book'. Are you sure that's right?")
> 2. The LOCATION of the error. (*This is...?")
> 3. The NATURE of the error ("How many books?")
> 4. The WAY TO CORRECT the error ("This is a....?")
> 5. The active ACCEPTANCE of correction ("No, now listen. 'This is a book.'")
> 6. The passive RECOGNITION of correction ("No, now listen. 'This is a
> book.' Repeat that for me!")
> (Note in passing that this isn't that different from the idea of reducing
> frustration by reducing the consequences of error and then reducing the
> probability of error, c.f. Bruner, Wood and Ross 1975.)
> The idea behind interventionist DA is that the curriculum is always right
> and there exists (more or less) a single path to the curriculum, which can
> be marked out by the prompts 1-6. The RATE of progress to the curricular
> model will change, but the ROUTE is invariable.
> You can see that two corollaries follow from this idea of invariant route
> and variable rates. The first is that the interventionist DA model is
> assessment oriented, which appeals to principals as well as to independent
> minded learners. The second is that the interventionist DA model is
> particularly conducive to the mass production of teaching materials that
> sideline the teacher, the sort of thing that Mary is worried about in
> Washington.
> The second option is just the opposite: it's called "interactionist" DA,
> and it's highly favored by Jim Lantolf (and Steve Thorne, Mathew Poehner,
> Neguerlea-Azola, and other writers associated with Penn State University).
> The idea is just the opposite: there isn't a single path, and the route to
> "communicative competence" can be highly variable so the whole is subject
> to negotiation.
> You can see that this model is not so assessment oriented, and that it
> foregrounds the teacher and will tend to disempower publishers at the
> expense of teacher trainers (and, more worryingly, non-native speakers at
> the expense of native speakers).
> Maybe these two variants of DA correspond, more or less, to the kind of
> bifurcation that Huw is talking about? That is, the former is more
> conducive to the Leontiev/Davidov/Elkonin model of learner appropriation
> and self-regulation as development, while the latter tends to the
> Lave/Rogoff/Matusov model of participatory learning?
> And Vygotsky? I rather suspect he would have wished a hearty plague on both
> houses, although as Huw says, in Vygotsky the end result of development is
> not merely participation: it's individuation.
> A propos. I have been reading Eisenstein's essays "Film Form". There are
> long quotes in it that are STRAIGHT out of Thinking and Speech--I mean,
> word for word. Take, for example, p. 135:
> "The Indians of this tribe--the Bororo--maintain that, while human beings,
> they are none the less at the same time also a special kind of red parakeet
> common in Brazil. Note that by this they do not in any way mean that they
> will become these birds after death, or that their ancestors were such in
> the remote past. Not at all. They directly maintain that they are in
> reality these actual birds. It is not here a matter of identity of names or
> relationships; they mean a complete simultaneous identity of both."
> Eisenstein, S. (1949). Film Form. New York: Harcourt.
> Has anyone noticed this before?
> David Kellogg
> Macquarie University
>> On Sat, Feb 13, 2016 at 7:06 AM, Mary Connery <ConneryMC@cwu.edu> wrote:
>> Dear colleagues:
>> Just a quick hello to validate David's insights! In my view from
>> Washington schools, I would also add there is a huge profit being made by
>> companies that construct, dictate, create materials for, and assess
>> curriculum from this neo-behaviorist stance. It has created an epic teacher
>> shortage; is replacing fundamental, essential, and formative
>> teacher-student relationships with machines and big media; and promoting
>> the anti-thesis of content development and language acquisition in the name
>> of educational reform. In the meantime, the CEOs in Palo Alto send their
>> kids to Montessori and Waldorf schools to develop creativity.
>> Have a good day!
>> Dr. M. Cathrene Connery
>> Senior Lecturer
>> Central Washington University
>> Language, Literacy, & Special Education
>> Ellensburg, WA 98927
>> connerymc@cwu.edu
>> "Be the change you wish to see in the world." ~Ghandi~
>>>> On Feb 12, 2016, at 12:48 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>> Huw, Alfredo, Alex, Mike:
>>> Language teaching is still in a stage I would call semi-behaviorist: we
>> are
>>> interested in shaping behavior, and not in what Kozulin calls cognitive
>>> modifications. So the "dynamic assessment" work done by Feuerstein and
>>> Kozulin has been "shaped" by the studies of corrective feedback done in
>> the
>>> late twentieth century by people like Mike Long, Cathy Doughty, Teresa
>>> Pica, and Susan Gass. At first these studies seemed to show that
>> corrective
>>> feedback was more effective when it was implicit--when there was a focus
>> on
>>> meaning rather than on form--because the result was that people were able
>>> to shape their behavior even when their cognitive focus was elsewhere.
>> But
>>> in 1997 Lyster and Ranta demonstrated that most teachers already use the
>>> most implicit form of correction, namely the so-called "recast".
>>> S: And this is book.
>>> T: That's a book, yeah.
>>> S: Yeah, this is book, and is very expensive in you country.
>>> They also demonstrated that these implicit forms of correction were the
>>> most likely to be ignored by the student, often because (as in this
>>> example) the student is quite unaware that anything is wrong at all. So
>> it
>>> has begun to appear that cognitive modifications are not irrelevant after
>>> all.
>>> As Andy points out, there is a strong tendency for we as academics to
>>> resist cognitive modifications too--that is why people prefer to mine
>>> Vygotsky's (Marx's, Hegel's) texts for jargon with which to rephrase what
>>> they already believe rather than to undertake the hard work of
>>> reconstructing the whole original system of concepts in their context.
>> But
>>> academics are a powerful check on other academics.
>>> After years of equating "dynamic assessment" with corrective feedback,
>> Matt
>>> Poehner has begun to argue that dynamic assessment is really about
>>> transferring the locus of assessment to the learner. I am not sure to
>> what
>>> extent this argument is motivated by a desire to return to the Vygotskyan
>>> idea of internalization and to what extent it is simply another swing of
>>> the pendulum: it seems to me that Poehner's model of "self-assessment"
>>> pretty much ignores what Vygotsky really had to say about
>> internalization,
>>> because (like the idea that DA is nothing more than corrective feedback)
>> it
>>> assumes that the "mediator" is the site of development and not just the
>>> source (that is, the learner's job is not to reconstruct or to
>> restructure
>>> the correct form but simply to "appropriate" it from the environment).
>>> So it seems to me that the place to start to try to untangle this web of
>>> misappropriations from Vygotsky is with "mediation". As Andy says, for
>>> Hegel everything in heaven and earth, man and nature, is mediated (but
>> some
>>> things are more so than others). For Marx mediation arises because
>> without
>>> it reason (man) is simply the slave of necessity (nature). For the old
>>> Vygotsky (the critical reactologist) mediation arises because one
>> stimulus
>>> can have many responses and vice versa, and for the new Vygotsky (the
>>> semasiologist, the pedologist), it arises because one sign can have many
>>> interpreters and many interpretations and vice versa. This allows the
>>> emergence of self and free will (because after all I myself am a
>> potential
>>> interpreter of my own signs). So it turns out that Poehner's emphasis on
>>> self-assessment is not completely irrelevant.
>>> A propos, a little problem in translation for the Russophones on the
>> list.
>>> Vygotsky says (in his work on Early Childhood in Vol. 4 of the Russian
>>> Collected Works, p. 347).
>>> "Габриэль очень хорошо описал эти постоянные непонимания. По его мнению,
>>> исследователи напрасно не обращали внимания на затруднения в понимании
>>> только что начинающего говорить ребенка взрослыми."
>>> Hall renders this as:
>>> "Gabriel described these misunderstandings (that is, the
>> misunderstandings
>>> caused by the child's use of single word sentences to adults) very well.
>> In
>>> his opinion, investigators did not turn their attention in vain to the
>>> adults' difficulties in understanding a child who is just beginning to
>>> speak."
>>> But it seems to me that the very opposite interpretation is also
>> possible:
>>> "Gabriel described these misunderstandings very well. According to him,
>>> researchers wasted their time in not attending to the difficulty for
>> adults
>>> in understanding a child who just starting to speak."
>>> What do you think?
>>> David Kellogg
>>> Macquarie University
>>> On Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 5:41 AM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Hi David,
>>>> Well, we can ask direct and indirect with respect to what?  The sign
>>>> systems, in this case, are what is being 'directly' corrected.  The
>>>> indirect, is that which the sign systems are about.  So, a good
>> situation
>>>> in which to learn appropriate grammar for this phrase is one in which
>>>> ambiguity and confusion is induced in the receiver of such a message,
>>>> thereby allowing for a contextualised and situated understanding of the
>>>> meaning.  For students who are comfortable with talking about notation
>>>> itself, however, perhaps you can do both, but I still think it merits
>>>> pointing to the real meanings.
>>>>> From the encyclopaedia of social behavioural sciences:
>>>> Actiity Theory and Errors
>>>> Activity theorists define errors as the non attainment of an activity
>> goal.
>>>> The comparison of the activity outcome with the goal determines whether
>> the
>>>> goal has been achieved or whether further actions have to be
>> accomplished.
>>>> If an unintended outcome occurs, an error will be given. Consequently, a
>>>> definition of an error based on Activity Theories integrates three
>> aspects:
>>>> (a) errors will only appear in goal-directed actions; (b) an error
>> implies
>>>> the nonattainment of the goal; (c) an error should have been potentially
>>>> avoidable (Frese and Zapf 1991). Frese and Zapf (1991) developed an
>> error
>>>> taxonomy based on a version of Action Theory. This taxonomy and other
>>>> comparable ones are inevitable in the examination of causes of errors
>> and
>>>> faults as a prerequisite of error prevention. Error prevention became an
>>>> inevitable concern in modern technologies, e.g., the control rooms of
>>>> nuclear power plants.
>>>> Best,
>>>> Huw
>>>>> On 11 February 2016 at 20:24, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>>>> I don't think error correction or even "making a student say 'This is a
>>>>> book' is always "direct" or "immediate", quite the contrary. Most of
>> the
>>>> DA
>>>>> sources I am referring to (yes, I am thinking of Lantolf and Poehner)
>>>>> distinguish between the highly indirect and the direct. We can lay out
>> a
>>>>> kind of cline.
>>>>> a) What did you say?
>>>>> b) Did you say a book?
>>>>> c) A book?
>>>>> d) A book.
>>>>> e) You mean a book.
>>>>> f) No, you have to say "a book".
>>>>> There are various ways of discussing this cline in the literature, e.g.
>>>>> "implicit" to "explicit" correction (Long and Doughty), or
>>>>> "interventionist" vs. "non-interventionist" (Lantolf and Poehner), or
>>>>> "recasts" vs. "prompts" (Ellis and others), "other repair" vs. "self
>>>>> repair" (the Conversation Analysts). I don't agree that direct
>>>> intervention
>>>>> is bad, and indirect intervention good. Since the work of Lyster and
>>>> Ranta,
>>>>> we have become acutely conscious that most teacher intervention is
>> highly
>>>>> indirect and thus highly ineffective.
>>>>> The real thing that needs to be "mediated" is this:
>>>>> g) Every singular noun must have a determiner in English.
>>>>> Now, I think grasping this (is it implicit? Is it explicit?) is
>> mediation
>>>>> only in the following sense: in order to be able to use it, you need to
>>>>> understand concepts like "noun", "singular", and "determiner". These
>> are
>>>>> all academic concepts and not everyday concepts and they cannot be
>>>> directly
>>>>> taught (c.f. Chapter Six of Thinking and Speech). I think that all
>> error
>>>>> correction, direct and indirect, is a way of indirectly teaching it.
>>>>> Perhaps the two "forces of nature" that are being played against each
>>>> other
>>>>> are the eidetic memory, which is concrete and based on everyday
>>>> experience,
>>>>> and forgetting, which produces an involuntary form of abstraction.
>>>> Neither
>>>>> force can overcome the other, but a learner can use a voluntary form of
>>>>> abstraction to overcome both.
>>>>> I think the problem with the way "mediation" is interpreted as the
>>>>> learner's "internalization" of the correction is simply this: it falls
>>>> prey
>>>>> to what Chaiklin calls the "assistance" assumption: the idea that the
>>>> site
>>>>> of development, and not simply the source, is the environment nad not
>> the
>>>>> learner. The environment (the correct form) is indeed the source of
>>>>> development (and I do think grasping the English article system does
>>>>> represent a form of real development, and certainly academic concepts
>>>> do).
>>>>> But the learner and only the learner is the site.
>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>> Macquarie University
>>>>> On Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 8:04 PM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> Perhaps you should respond in kind, David:
>>>>>> 1.  A failure to understand that speech and systems of notation
>>>> mediate,
>>>>>> i.e. guide and structure, activity which is the phenomenon that
>>>> benefits
>>>>>> from contact with reality.
>>>>>> 2.  Failure to understand that direct correction of these systems can
>>>>>> inculcate an erroneous sense that systems of notation and speech are
>>>> the
>>>>>> "objective material" to be worked upon, rather than the efficacy of
>>>> their
>>>>>> use in realising object systems from which natural feedback can be
>>>>>> obtained.
>>>>>> 3. Failure to grasp the opportunity to frame these minor situations in
>>>> the
>>>>>> context of encouraging the student's own self-regulation and
>> confidence
>>>> in
>>>>>> thinking.
>>>>>> Any good?
>>>>>> Best,
>>>>>> Huw
>>>>>> On 10 February 2016 at 21:38, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>> I am occasionally, out of deference to a few papers I once published
>>>> in
>>>>>>> TESOL, sent articles to review on the use of Vygotskyan concepts in
>>>>>>> language learning. Time was that these articles were mostly about
>>>>>>> scaffolding and the ZPD; of late they have been mostly concerned with
>>>>>>> "internalization" and "mediation".
>>>>>>> The problem is that most of these articles have taken these concepts
>>>>>>> entirely out of child development and placed them in an alien
>>>>>>> context--classroom error correction, which is now referred to as
>>>> "Dynamic
>>>>>>> Assessment".
>>>>>>> I am not sure what to do about this. It seems to me that one way to
>>>> start
>>>>>>> to address the issue is to go back to the original Hegelian idea of
>>>>>>> "mediation" as using one force of nature against another: the force
>>>> of
>>>>>> air
>>>>>>> pressure against gravity in flying, or the friction of snow vs. the
>>>>>>> momentum of the fall line in skiing.
>>>>>>> When a teacher corrects an error in a classroom, e.g. when a teacher
>>>>>> makes
>>>>>>> the student say "This is a book" instead of "This is book", what are
>>>> the
>>>>>>> forces of nature that are being used against each other? Is this
>>>> really
>>>>>> an
>>>>>>> instance of mediation at all?
>>>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>>>> Macquarie University