[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: Of Possible Interest to the XCMA/CHAT Family

Good questions and reflections Larry and David,

Heathcote believed that through drama you could situate students
differently in relation to knowledge through them having an actual
‘experience’ of it, in what she called ‘now’ time.  So rather than being
told about ‘knowledge', or reading about it as something that happened
‘over there’ to other people, it is about bringing the students into a
more immediate experience as they have to consider ‘what would I do in
this situation' .  One way she suggests you can do that is by just moving
situations and events into the present tense… so if you are doing history
and examining a particular event you can set up a context and instead of
saying ‘they were’ you say ‘we are’, ‘I am’.  It is in a way an
ontological and epistemological shift that is realised through practical
action and tasks, so children ‘experience’ knowledge through tasks and

She says of ‘now’ time:
. Things have to be made to matter;
. The task must feel important and worthwhile;
. There needs to be a valuable and perceivable outcome;
. People must enjoy power to influence and operate in the circumstances;
. Tasks must create feedback possibilities;
. Situation must feel reasonable and genuinely truthful;
. People must feel protected from feeling stared at; and
. The self-spectator must become alert and be registered. (Tape 9)

The skill of the teacher is in then exercising high selectivity in
arranging a multiplicity of signs and tools to establish the context and
curate the experience so that it activates interest and engagement. She
talks of finding the ’thread’ that they can take from their lives into the
dramatic (or historical) context… and that might be something very simple
- taking on role within a family group, putting on a name tag for a role,
putting a pencil behind your ear so later in the 'Victorian workroom' you
will be able to quickly retrieve it.

In terms of learning that matters she really is concerned with having
children come to appreciate that learning matters, being deeply concerned
with things matters and that if you attend to things and can have an
‘experience’ of knowledge, you will care about it and that learning will
stay with you. She was quite fond of a quote by Blake “he who would do
good to another must do so in minute particulars”.
    As I conclude in the book … Heathcote argued, school is an artificial
construct, with mandated curriculum requirements and expectations being
imposed from on high, so the engagement process is about making the
curriculum accessible and attractive for students so they can become
committed and involved enough to learn things that will ‘stick’ and make a
    This is ultimately about enabling students to have experiences of
coming to care about things, and care about things that matter. Through
this engagement and commitment process Heathcote hoped that students would
understand that to achieve anything worthwhile you have to invest energy
and pay attention to details, that details matter.  This type of
commitment is at
the core of meaningful learning: "Making people care about things is the
process of learning". (Tape 9)

I hope that helps!


On 26/02/2016 12:46 am, "Lplarry" <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:

>David, Susan,
>To ask "How do we get rid of the feeling that what we are doing is a
>*dummy run?*
>Answer: To realize what really *matters* that is experienced as a
>living matter.
>David suggesting this is not a question of *being* - focus on the word
>*is* but rather to focus on the word *knowing*.
>So how does the instructor come to *know* what actually is a subject
>matter that *really matters* in contrast to *dummy matters* that are
>actually *dead matters*.
>Questions: Is this meaning of *knowing* focusing on epistemology and the
>notion of *genetic epistemology?*
>Is knowing related to *signifying* and contrasted with what known as
>Susan contrasts acquiring *living* knowledge in contrast to *dead*
>formalized knowledge.
>David suggests instructors must *know* the difference.
>I am now wanting to hear more on how to move beyond developing "dummy
>knowledge and to create "places" -zones - in which life is lived within
>spaces of subject matters that really matter and make a real "difference".
>-----Original Message-----
>From: "Susan Davis" <s.davis@cqu.edu.au>
>Sent: ‎2016-‎02-‎24 3:34 AM
>To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Of Possible Interest to the XCMA/CHAT Family
>Thanks Robert,
>It’s great to have the book published as part of your series.  The book is
>called “Learning that matters: Revitalising Heathcote’s Rolling Role for
>the digital age”. 
>For those who haven’t heard of Heathcote before, she was a ‘master’
>teacher who achieved international recognition for her teaching practice
>in the 70s and 80s - in particular for pioneering processes such as Mantle
>of the Expert - which use role and fictional contexts to position children
>as ‘experts’ and active agents in investigative processes. She also
>invented this system called ‘Rolling Role’ which is a form of
>trans-disciplinary learning - where multiple classes work with the same
>common context, but from their particular frame or subject perspective.
>The beauty of it is that no one group ‘owns’ the outcome, but groups
>regularly ‘publish’ and share artefacts and outcomes throughout the
>process, with each group having to use and ‘roll’ the work of what has
>gone before.  It was a system she believed was perfectly suited for
>revisiting in the digital age… so that is what the book hopes to assist
>with… the Vygotskian and CHAT work was very helpful in conceptualising and
>understanding this work.
>At times reading the work of Vygotsky and Heathcote it felt like they
>could have been writing about education today!
>Educational experience, no less than theoretical research,
>teaches us that, in practice, a straightforward learning of concepts
>proves impossible and educationally fruitless. Usually, any teacher
>setting out
>on this road achieves nothing except a meaningless acquisition of words,
>verbalization in children, which is nothing more than simulation and
>of corresponding concepts which, in reality, are concealing a vacuum.  In
>such cases, the child assimilates not
>concepts but words, and he fills his memory more than his thinking. As a
>result, he ends up helpless in the face of any sensible attempt to apply
>any of
>this acquired knowledge. Essentially, this method of teaching/learning
>concepts, a purely scholastic and verbal method of teaching, which is
>by everybody and which advocates the replacement of acquisition of living
>knowledge by the assimilation of dead and empty verbal schemes, represents
>most basic failing in the field of education. (Vygotsky 1934/1994a, pp.
>So – getting rid of the dummy run. On the face of it you
>have a rather interesting paradox in drama, because it looks like drama is
>entirely artificial and that the whole thing would be a dummy run – we are
>pretending actually.  And we use words
>like pretend and play and in our culture it does suggest that it’s
>and there’s no real work/life purpose for it…. So it seems to me we need
>look and see what it is that makes something NOT feel like a dummy run…
>It seemed to me that one of the important aspects of not
>being a dummy run is that it matters now, we feel like its urgent now.
>(Heathcote 1993, Tape 9)
>Dr Susan Davis 
>Senior Lecturer | School of Education & the Arts | Higher Education
>CQUniversity Australia, Noosa Campus |
>PO Box 1128, Qld 4566
>P +61 (0)7 5440 7007 | X 547007 | M +61 400 000 000| E s.davis@cqu.edu.au
>On 24/02/2016 12:14 am, "Robert Lake" <boblake@georgiasouthern.edu> wrote:
>>​Susan Davis has published a book that weaves LSV, Dorothy Heathcote and
>>into one seamless, present tense unfolding of "rolling role". If anyone
>>would like to write a review of it I can get you a copy. It has been five
>>years since Heathcote's passing and I suspect her work will become more
>>more  important in this era of standardized everything.
>>*Robert Lake*
>>For a sense of the dynamic of  Dorothy's pedagogy, scroll to about 5
>>minutes into this.

Attachment: default[3].xml
Description: default[3].xml

Attachment: default[4].xml
Description: default[4].xml