Re: For King Beach

From: Peg Griffin (
Date: Wed Jun 01 2005 - 21:15:23 PDT

It's just that maybe progress is made when you go beyond (or aside) "a single overarching characterization." If it can happen in linguistic studies with matters somewhat similar maybe it could happen in studies of mathematics pedagogy.
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Mike Cole
  Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2005 10:51 PM
  Subject: Re: For King Beach

  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?
    ----- 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).



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