Re: For King Beach

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Wed Jun 01 2005 - 20:51:40 PDT

Peg & King et al-- I am missing some important link here. how does the
linguistic-metalinguistic-epitlinguistic set-of-distinctions/sequence relate
to the question of LSV and Davydov approaches to
abstraction and generalizations and different takes on/orinetations to the
Jurow article?

Dense not in New Delhi

On 6/1/05, Peg Griffin <> wrote:
> Yes, the intent about epi/meta/plain-vanilla-linguistic was really in
> service of the point King makes so well -- Gombert shows that for his work
> at least the three coexist and I think it is interesting to think about
> genetic relations among them (and discontinuities within and among them) ,
> too.
> Plus is there a pointer to where I could learn more about the New Delhi
> work?
> Peg
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* Mike Cole <>
> *To:* Xmca <>
> *Sent:* Tuesday, May 31, 2005 9:53 PM
> *Subject:* For King Beach
> Mike and others,
> I am going to dip my oar in the water here from New Delhi where we
> are working with organizations trying to help street and working kids
> build connections (not necessarily similarities) between their lives
> in slums and the government schools--certainly involving
> generalization is a broader sense. However, two points flow from the
> juxtaposition of our current work with this conversation.
> One is our tendency to look for a single overarching characterization
> of generalization, e.g. as ascending from the abstract to the
> concrete or the expansion of local discursive practices. Those of us
> who are psychologists by training might recognize this as our
> discipline's historical desire for single process explanations such
> as learning transfer. Davydov's concept of substantive
> generalization, for example, makes far more sense to me in the
> context of teaching and in science than it does where there are not
> clearly generative "germ concepts." Trying to makes sense of the
> transitions that primary-aged kids make between school and home/work
> involves so many levels of generalization as to make single
> process/single principle constructs problematic.
> The other is a tendency with generalization to focus on that which
> develops with some degree of commonality across social space and time
> rather than on the production of disjunctions and contradictions as
> well. Like Michael Roth here I do find Hegel and Ilyenkov (partic.
> Dialectics of Abstract and Concrete) helpful in thinking about
> generalization more broadly than the production of similarity. The
> contradictions and disjunctions between what the kids must do here in
> their daily lives and what they do in the school classrooms have far
> greater developmental potential than do any hoped for highly
> "abstracted" set off commonalities between studying in school and
> working on the streets (or well-intentioned but misguided attempts to
> "smooth" the daily transitions that these kids make between the
> streets and the school by making "word problems" out of their
> experiences working with their families).
> Cheers,
> King

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