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[Xmca-l] Re: The Learning Sciences in the era of U.S. Nationalism

Andy, Mike, 

I think in this moment of history, and being as privileged as we are to be able to use SO MANY economical and material resources to participate in a forum like this, where we all are striving for change, and most of all, for achieving a more human society (and of course, finding what that means is part of the quest), we cannot afford shutting down anyone. It is against shutting down the we are striving right now. I am doing my part trying to collect everyone's voices under a document that hopefully might look coherent some time.  

So, as Mike says, by all means participate, Andy and anyone else. 

I too, as did Helena and Andy, felt the text fell short in digging into what the actual problem is; but again, those authors have already written much more to raise awareness than most learning scientists I know have . We need BOTH critiquing and praising. Francine had brought the notion of Irony, and Michael G. was bringing up Bateson's Double Bind. Both notions are such that they need both praising and critique, of taking in and giving out.

From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of lpscholar2@gmail.com <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
Sent: 23 January 2017 16:35
To: mike cole; Andy Blunden; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Learning Sciences in the era of U.S. Nationalism

I am listening on this safe site for you to express what you have been sweating for months to raise without generating a reaction.

Every time i hear that half the people in the world have less wealth than the richest 5 or 25 individuals, i am profoundly troubled at this fact. I want clarity on what generated this fact.

I also read Martin Packer’s book review that was offering clarity on the notion of ‘intentionality’.

It seems that your intention-in-action and Mike’s intention-in-action and the learning sciences article as intention-in-action ALL share an unfolding intentionality addressing social injustice.

Andy, raise what you are sweating to raise. The folks sweating in the learning sciences share your concern. Where  there are overlaps and where there are  differences in each approach will unfold among ‘us’.

The irony in Trump’s inauguration is that Billionaires are now in charge of the cabinet that will take care of the forgotten people.  Unbelievable twilight zone.

Sent from my Windows 10 phone

From: mike cole
Sent: January 23, 2017 6:50 AM
To: Andy Blunden; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Learning Sciences in the era of U.S. Nationalism

Seeking clarity in these circumstances is the goal, Andy. Not a given
condition.Humanity has not found the solution to solution to nationalist
populism so far.

By all means participate. But not by picking out part of a paragraph of a
colleagues work and condeming it to the garbage pile without reading it.
Squelching discussion is the antithesis of what a collective effort to
solve our extraordinarily difficult problems we face. Everyone's considered
views are welcome. That includes you of course. But hip shooting take downs
of others' contributions is destructive.

The problems you point to as central are central. So the authors of the
paper your wrote.

Now lets see if any serious discussion can be had, or we can close this


On Sun, Jan 22, 2017 at 11:26 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Well, you say "curt" and "rush" and ask for my "better set of ideas,"
> Mike, but I have been sweating for months trying to figure out a way of
> raising this issue without stimulating this kind of reaction. I obviously
> haven't found it yet. I thought xmca was about the safest forum I knew to
> raise difficult questions. I'll keep my mouth shut, because I don't have a
> "better set of ideas." I see a problem, but I don't see the solution, and I
> don't see clarity emerging from here.
> Andy
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> Andy Blunden
> http://home.mira.net/~andy
> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
> On 23/01/2017 5:36 PM, mike cole wrote:
>> There are big problems reading one paragraph and neglecting to read the
>> rest,
>> Andy. You negelected this one, among others in your rush to irony.
>> /From a liberal perspective, the anti-immigrant and anti-poor rhetoric in
>> Trump’s campaign appears to be an about-face from eight progressive years
>> under the last administration. But these political turns are not so
>> straightforward. In recent years for example, the Obama administration’s
>> deportation of over 2.5 million undocumented children and families
>> (Iaconangelo, 2016), from Central America and Mexico in particular,
>> displayed our nation’s refusal to understand immigration in light of a
>> troubling legacy of U.S. military and political-economic intervention in
>> these countries. Economic policies that favor the wealthy have led to
>> drastic inequalities over the past few decades where a mere 20 Americans
>> have more financial assets than the bottom half of the country—157 million
>> people—combined (Collins & Hoxie, 2015). The classism of incarceration was
>> unmasked as the Department of Justice failed to prosecute the Wall Street
>> architects of the Great Recession (Cohan, 2015), but federal prisons were
>> expanded to accommodate disproportionately low-income, non-violent
>> offenders (Rabuy & Kopf, 2015)./
>> How about nurturing such discussion instead of dismissing it out of hand
>> that way? You have a better set of ideas, put them out there on this
>> thread. That is what this thread/xmca are for. It is not for reaching snap
>> judgments and squelching discussion.
>> mike
>> On Sun, Jan 22, 2017 at 6:39 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:
>> ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>     One paragraph from the article on Learning Sciences
>>     and US Nationalism:
>>            Our scholarship has the potential to be a form of
>>            transformative resistance against the most
>>            significant political threats to our democracy
>>     today
>>            by explicitly defending and furthering the rights
>>            and well-being of people of color, immigrants,
>>            Muslims, women, people who are differently abled,
>>            LGBTQ communities, and the earth.
>>     So I take this to mean that the authors think that the
>>     fact that inequality has reached a point where 2
>>     individuals own as much wealth as the poorest 50% of
>>     the world's population and 26 individuals own half of
>>     the world's wealth is a non-issue. That the
>>     de-industrialisation of US cities is a matter of no
>>     importance. To use one of the catchphrases of the
>>     election, they are "doubling down" on the claim that
>>     inequality is a matter of cultural prejudice and if
>>     only we were all much more careful in our use of
>>     language and showed respect for cultural differences,
>>     then we can safely leave the world in the hands of
>>     Walmart and Exxon.
>>     Andy
>>     ------------------------------------------------------------
>>     Andy Blunden
>>     http://home.mira.net/~andy <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
>>     http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>     <http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-
>> decision-making>
>>     On 23/01/2017 8:01 AM, mike cole wrote:
>>         Helena et al --
>>         An important emphasis in the article for me was on
>>         the fact that although
>>         the article focused on the American nationalist
>>         movement that has just
>>         pulled of an alt-right coup, similar movements are
>>         poised to take hold in a
>>         lot of places in Europe to join the many already
>>         entrenched unsavory
>>         governments in other parts of the world.
>>         The CRADLE center in Helsinki is under very
>>         concerted attack and the right
>>         wing government appears, from this distance, to be
>>         making great progress on
>>         destroying its legacy. The same process has been
>>         in Denmark for some time,
>>         also with apparent success.
>>         What do our international colleagues who have
>>         already felt the hot breath
>>         of right wing nationalism have to offer in terms
>>         of strategies of
>>         resistence?
>>         Back to "what is to be done," that sombre question
>>         from an earlier era. The
>>         answer last time did not produce what it promised.
>>         mike
>>         mike
>>         On Sun, Jan 22, 2017 at 12:22 PM, Helena Worthen
>>         <helenaworthen@gmail.com
>>         <mailto:helenaworthen@gmail.com>>
>>         wrote:
>>             Thank you, Alfredo - I gave it a read.
>>             Sure, of course they’re right. But I am very
>>             disappointed.
>>             I was hoping that the following was only item
>>             #1 in a long list of "what
>>             the 2016 election made apparent":
>>             The 2016 election has made apparent the need
>>             for scholarship that
>>             explicitly defends and furthers the rights and
>>             well-being of people of
>>             color, immigrants, Muslims, women, people who
>>             are differently abled, LGBTQ
>>             communities, and the earth. These are stances
>>             that have been limited, at
>>             least explicitly, in the Learning Sciences.
>>             But the call for inclusion was not just #1, it
>>             seems to be the whole
>>             thing.  In other words, it’s all about
>>             identity —plus the earth, of course.
>>             While inclusion is necessary, it’s not even a
>>             start. Yes, research,
>>             teaching, publishing, promotion, conferences —
>>             everything associated with
>>             teaching and learning has to include everyone
>>             as equals (see Andy’s book)
>>             in one way or another — but then what? What
>>             are they (we) supposed to do?
>>             Where does the pretty language touch the ground?
>>             I was listening to a broadcast of the Women’s
>>             March in DC on Saturday
>>             morning, and Kamala Harris, who was the
>>             California State Attorney General
>>             and is now a junior Senator from CA, was
>>             addressing the rally. She said,
>>             “People always ask me to talk about women’s
>>             issues. I say, ‘Oh, I’m SO glad
>>             you’re interested in economics!! Let’s talk
>>             about economics.”  And she ran
>>             through a whole set of parallel
>>             back-and-forths, always pulling identity
>>             questions back to wages, jobs, earning,
>>             supporting your family, etc etc.
>>             Much as we need to wipe away any barriers to
>>             the Learning Sciences (and
>>             the professions and institutions dedicated to
>>             them) due to identity, until
>>             the Learning Sciences start taking a look at
>>             the place where most people
>>             spend most of their lives — not school, I mean
>>             — but work, they will be
>>             engaging in a soft conversation at the edge of
>>             the real issue. It’s a
>>             pleasant conversation but it doesn’t put a
>>             hand on the levers that
>>             translate skill and knowledge into rent and
>>             groceries.
>>             H
>>             Helena Worthen
>>             helenaworthen@gmail.com
>>             <mailto:helenaworthen@gmail.com>
>>             Berkeley, CA 94707
>>             Blog about US and Viet Nam:
>>             helenaworthen.wordpress.com
>>             <http://helenaworthen.wordpress.com>
>>                 On Jan 22, 2017, at 11:38 AM, Alfredo
>>                 Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no
>>                 <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>>
>>             wrote:
>>                 Here it is,
>>                 http://cognitionandinstruction
>> .com/engagements-the-learning-
>>                 <http://cognitionandinstruction.com/engagements-the-
>> learning->
>>             sciences-in-a-new-era-of-u-s-nationalism/
>>                 Alfredo
>>                 ________________________________________
>>                 From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>                 <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>                 <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>                 <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>>
>>             on behalf of Helena Worthen
>>             <helenaworthen@gmail.com
>>             <mailto:helenaworthen@gmail.com>>
>>                 Sent: 22 January 2017 20:24
>>                 To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>                 Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Learning
>>                 Sciences in the era of U.S.
>>             Nationalism
>>                 Someone please re-send the link to this
>>                 article?  I think I’m going to
>>             want to read it and respond to Mike’s question.
>>                 Thanks — H
>>                 Helena Worthen
>>                 helenaworthen@gmail.com
>>                 <mailto:helenaworthen@gmail.com>
>>                 Berkeley, CA 94707
>>                 Blog about US and Viet Nam:
>>                 helenaworthen.wordpress.com
>>                 <http://helenaworthen.wordpress.com>
>>                     On Jan 22, 2017, at 12:25 AM, Alfredo
>>                     Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no
>>                     <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>>
>>             wrote:
>>                     Mike,
>>                     thanks a lot for sharing this article.
>>                     You and Michael, who have and
>>             know more history, have spoken in terms of
>>             reminiscences. I have lived and
>>             know less, and the article feels like fresh
>>             air. During my PhD, I begun to
>>             increasingly feel that I had to due something
>>             to act and respond to the
>>             increasing ecological and humanitarian globe
>>             crises. But how could I do
>>             anything if I had children and a PhD to
>>             finalise?? What could I do that
>>             would also be doing my job as researcher in a
>>             department of education? It
>>             was very difficult to find anything, partly
>>             because almost every academic
>>             quest would focus on learning, but so little
>>             on social development. How
>>             many scientific articles are dedicated to
>>             socio-political questions in the
>>             most cited educational journals? I felt very
>>             powerless.
>>                     To be able to address these questions
>>                     within my expertise, is a
>>             challenge partly because contrary to Dewey's
>>             hope, educational research has
>>             only marginally focused on these questions,
>>             and yet they may be exactly the
>>             question that matter to education. What are we
>>             educating for? Indeed, what
>>             is education for? I think we face a serious
>>             problem when someone (like
>>             myself), being an educational
>>             researchers/scholar, still has to scratch her
>>             head wondering <<how can I make my profession
>>             matter to social change and
>>             development?>> Vygotsky would be shocked!
>>                     Alfredo
>>                     From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>                     <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>                     <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>                     <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>>
>>             on behalf of mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu
>>             <mailto:mcole@ucsd.edu>>
>>                     Sent: 19 January 2017 04:51
>>                     To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>                     Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Learning
>>                     Sciences in the era of U.S.
>>             Nationalism
>>                     Yes Michael,
>>                     It feels like the world of the later
>>                     1930's about the time I was born as
>>                     that period came down to me through
>>                     the prism of a family of "premature
>>                     anti fascists."
>>                     For a great re-creation of those times
>>                     see the highly ambivalent film by
>>                     Frank Capra, "meet John Doe." It has
>>                     American big capital interconnected
>>                     with fascism combined with populist
>>                     collectivism in a manner that
>>             points at
>>                     the media (as then experienced) as the
>>                     bad guys in disguise. Happy
>>             Ending,
>>                     Beethoven Ode to Joy and all.
>>                     It's come round again, nastier this time.
>>                     Mike
>>                     On Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 6:20 PM
>>                     Glassman, Michael <glassman.13@osu.edu
>>                     <mailto:glassman.13@osu.edu>>
>>                     wrote:
>>                         Mike
>>                         It was so interesting to read this
>>                         note after reading the Cognition and
>>                         Instruction essay.  All the way
>>                         through it I kept thinking we have
>>                         been
>>                         here before.  It reminded me of
>>                         the scholars, especially those who had
>>                         escaped from Germany, trying to
>>                         make sense of what had happened to
>>             their
>>                         society during World War II.  The
>>                         foremost in my mind was Lewin.
>>             Except I
>>                         wonder if he would say the process
>>                         of transformative action starts not
>>             with
>>                         emergence of quasi-needs, but our
>>                         willingness and abilities to step
>>             back
>>                         from our quasi-needs and the ways
>>                         that they drive us, often to
>>                         dysfunctional behaviors that it
>>                         ultimately destructive to both our
>>             society
>>                         and to us as individuals.  How
>>                         hard this is to do, we have to keep
>>             going
>>                         back again and again.  The
>>                         quasi-needs, tribalism, acceptance,
>>             standing are
>>                         always there.  It is how they
>>                         shape us that is critical.
>>                         Michael
>>                         -----Original Message-----
>>                         From:
>>                         xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>                         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>                         [mailto:
>>                         xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>                         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>]
>>                         On Behalf Of mike cole
>>                         Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2017
>>                         8:31 PM
>>                         To: eXtended Mind, Culture,
>>                         Activity <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>                         <mailto:xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>>
>>                         Subject: [Xmca-l] The Learning
>>                         Sciences in the era of U.S.
>>                         Nationalism
>>                         In following  the perezhivanie
>>                         thread I encountered the note I
>>             re-membered.
>>                         And interestingly mis-remembered.
>>                         A translation into my focus on
>>                         mediational means. He places the
>>                         starting point of the process of
>>                         transformative action at the
>>                         emergence of quasi-needs (from Kurt
>>             Lewin).
>>                         That seems correct to me. The new
>>                         mediational means emerge under
>>                         environmental presses. Ever
>>                         functionalist ego need a goal(!). (The
>>             problem
>>                         with functionalism) In David's words,
>>                         Perhaps the place we should look
>>                         for "exaptations" that can save both
>>             our
>>                         personalities and our environment
>>                         is not in our evolved needs, but in
>>             yet
>>                         to be designed quasi-needs.
>>                         Artificial organs, after all, always
>>             suggest
>>                         new and ever more artificial
>>                         functions, like chess and language.
>>                         This point seems worth keeping in
>>                         mind as we look at where this group
>>             of
>>                         critical scholars who work within
>>                         the Learning Sciences disciplinary
>>                         framework would like to lead us.
>>                         mike