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RE: Learning Paradox

I think the issue is not whether there are resources to resolve the learning paradox, but based on my original questions, and answers from Victor and John, whether the whole idea of the learning paradox, and the need to resolve it, is based on a set of underlying assumptions that may or may not be true.  The discussion should be about the assumptions and whether they should be accepted in the first place, and the enormous social and political implications of accepting these assumptions (I for one believe it is impossible to face problems of pluralisms if we accept the assumptions the learning paradox is based upon).
Let me give you an example from a famous religious paradox.
How can there be a hell is God is supposed to be good and all forgiving?
A very interesting thing to think about, but the paradox only emerges if I accept there is a God, that this God care about individual humans, that there is an afterlife - there are about a hundred more.
So if you say what are the resources to resolve this paradox about hell, you are simply accepting these assumptions en toto as truth and moving on to the discussion.  This might be fine for a person of one religion, but maybe not for a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Jew, or an athiest. 
I used the religious example on purpose, because I believe many, many people have accepted the assumptions leading to the learning paradox religiously rather than rationally (using rational in the Pragmatic sense).  This is not to say you can't accept the arguments rationally, just that many people don't really think about them and the implications of accepting them.
As I look at the arguments over how we were going to treat education and the mind in the United States over the twentieth century, I think this argument about assumptions is both critical and unresolved.  But it has been submerged by monolithic thinking that is not based on how the bring pluralistic groups together but keep them apart (maybe I watched too much of the democratic convention).  My guess is that most people in psychology and education programs don't even discuss these underlying assumptions, or the importance they carry in the decisions we make in our everyday life.
To my mind the field is not differentiated by titles such as Chat and culture and context.  You can have people who cite the same author or the same body of work who have completely different views.  The field is differentiated by how people approach these underlying assumptions whether they be Realist, Idealist, or Pragmatic (I knew somebody was going to be asking, so what the hell are these underlying assumptions anyway?).


From: Robert Bracewell [mailto:robert.bracewell@mcgill.ca]
Sent: Fri 7/30/2004 11:52 AM
To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
Subject: RE: Learning Paradox

With respect to resources to resolve the "learning paradox", have there
been any discussions in this forum on Peirce's concept of abduction (as
opposed to deduction and induction)? Prawat in the late 90's was advocating
a correspondence between this concept and the later Dewey concerning
inquiry. And Tim Koschmann at AERA two years ago presented a nice summary
of the positions and distinctions, and critique of Prawat's argument (don't
know whether it has been published, but I'm sure that copies are available
from Tim). And as usual, LSV seems to be onside with the following
semi-aphoristic (and lovely to my ear) comment concerning the nature of
induction from Historical Meaning of the Crisis in Psychology, "Sit can be
said that analysis is always inherent in investigation, otherwise induction
would turn into registration." (Collected Works, vol. 3, p. 321)


Robert J. Bracewell
Associate Professor
McGill University
3700 McTavish Street
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email: Robert Bracewell <robert.bracewell@mcgill.ca>
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