Re: For King Beach

From: Ellice Forman (
Date: Thu Jun 02 2005 - 08:38:46 PDT

It has happened in math ed for example: Kieran, C., Forman, E., & Sfard, A.
(Eds.). (2001). Bridging the individual and the social: Discursive
approaches to research in mathematics education. (Vol. 46).
Ellice Forman

--On Wednesday, June 01, 2005 11:15 PM -0500 Peg Griffin
<> wrote:r

> 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. Peg
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Mike Cole
> To:
> 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
> mike
> 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

Ellice Ann Forman
Department of Instruction and Learning
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412) 648-7022

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