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[Xmca-l] Re: MCA Issue 3 article for discussion Re-started

Larry, all,

the authors asked for alternative lenses to look at their data and that is what I think you have offered. Of course, articles need to be read in their own terms, just as empirical data need to be understood in their own terms... unless authors explicitly invite you to do otherwise, I suppose.

In any case, to me Larry's reading is not so far removed from familiar theory: just as thinking is not expressed but completed in the word, so does neoliberal ideology come to live (is completed) as (may the term incarnation work here?) living persons expressing (learners, teachers).

Although I find the discussion on adequate readings and fittings between theory and data very interesting, it may also be interesting seeking not so much what the article could or should have taught but ??and instead ?what the article can indeed teach.

And one thing that I found most compelling is the observation that, by promoting an attention to and the building of identity around privileged achievement, what was being learned had little to do with actual maths or science. Thus, that the same students that in one context were privileged and enjoyed an "identity-as-standing," when more advanced courses were introduced had troubles performing and came to experience a sense of failure and of displacement. This clearly seems a case of "estranged labor learning," where the exchange value of success in math leads. Margaret, Carrie, you nonetheless speak about identity-as-standing, and argue for a different identity-as-standing, an identity that you define as "being somebody rather than nobody." But is there not something of the same principle of privilege that runs through neoliberalism in the "standing" thing? Perhaps it's just my narrow understanding of the term, and of the theory as a whole, but it seems to me that privilege has something to do here: the same principle that pushes some classes down pushes them down when they begin to raise up in performance. Did other students rise up and begun performing better or moving to a more privileged position as the initially high-achieving ones begun failing? Is this notion of identity-as-standing not also within the same larger scheme of somebodies and nobodies?

A further interesting issue is the co-lateral learning (as per Dewey) that goes into this; cause clearly it is not math (or science) what is being learned here.


Status: O