RE: Gutierrez et al on line

From: Eugene Matusov (
Date: Sat Mar 27 2004 - 08:50:41 PST

Dear Jonna-

Thanks for the link directing us to Kris' article.

I was thinking about Kris' very interesting definitions of scripts and
spaces. The teacher's "first" space and students' "second" space are similar
in a sense that they treat "others" as objects: the teacher in his space
treats the students as objects of pedagogical actions while the students
treat the teacher and other co-op students as objects of their jokes
("exclusive carnival"? Bakhtin? "lads' laughs" Willis?). In this sense,
these two discursive spaces are monologic. However, it can be argued that
the teacher's "first" space is much more monologic than the students'
"second" space because it is disinterested. The teacher is not personally
invested and interested in the content of his discourse - whales coming to
the river or the Brown vs. Board of Education. He was just teaching this
content. What he was interested in was moving this content into heads of his
students: this pedagogical action does not have much dialogic property
(Bakhtin insisted that actions have to be dialogized to be humane). In
contrast, the students' discourse mocking the teacher and other students
cooperating with the teacher was a personally invested and interested
discourse as it involved risk taking, aesthetic mastery of joke
improvisation, and gaining social capital in eyes of peers. The "second"
space is very dialogic although exclusive and exploitative. It is
interesting that Kris decided not to include in the analysis another second
(or fourth?) space: students chatting with each other on topics unrelated to
the class official curricula and the teacher. Has it to be called "forth
space"? It does not seem to fit Kris' oppositional portrayal of
teacher-students discourses.

Alternatively, using terminology that Barbara Rogoff, Cindy White, and I
have developed some time ago back in 1995, it is possible to call adult-run
space, children-run space, and collaborative space. However, children-run
space won't be necessary oppositional or resistant to the teacher but
incorporate many discourses that are exclusive of the teacher. Kris and her
colleagues seem to be very interested in this oppositional discourse of the

I do not understand why Kris and her colleagues need to focus on "scripts"
rather than on patterns of discourse. Especially, it is problematic for me
when this term is used with regard of the "second" space (and "third" for
this matter). Students' oppositional carnival can be very creative to fit
any "scripts" (unlike script of transmission of knowledge instructional
discourse). Maybe I'm wrong but I associate "scripts" with being not
bounded by the content. This is true for the teacher's discourse presented
in the article but not true for the students' discourse mocking the teacher
and co-op students. In my view, the students' carnivalistic discourse is
anti-script, not counter-script.

What do you think?

PS Thanks a lot, Nancy, for recommending this good thought-provoking

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jonna Kangasoja []
> Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2004 4:15 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: Gutierrez et al on line
> you find it even faster at:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Ares, Nancy" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2004 10:45 PM
> Subject: Gutierrez et al on line
> > Hello Steve and others,
> >
> > The article is available on the MCA site:
> >
> >
> >
> > enjoy!
> > Nancy
> >
> >

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Nov 09 2004 - 11:42:24 PST