Re: [xmca] Artifacts, tools and classrooms

From: bb (
Date: Sun Jan 22 2006 - 19:27:16 PST

On Saturday 21 January 2006 6:55 pm, Mike Cole wrote:

> for example, it is simply unclear
> your example of a reading practice functioning as "an exercise with
> survielllance by the child as teacher" qualifies
> according to my interpretation of Wartofsky.

I have seen something close that may qualify. It's play. During "choice"
time I have observed children to play at being in school -- I find it a
little suprising, because here are the children already in school, waiting
for it to formally start, or at the end of the day waiting their turn for the
bus ride home. But then, all the props are easily available. These forms of
play have occured: the child-as-teacher stands at the white board and draws a
figure. The children-as-students try to repeat the figure and are
complemented by the child-as-teacher according to how well they reproduced
the drawing. There have been literacy examples too, where the children, as
above, take turns at being the teacher, but in this example read aloud to
their classmates.

This latter form is not a big stretch for the children -- one form of the
literacy lessons is for the adult teacher to abdicate her chair (it is the
one at the end of the red rug), and for the children to take turns seated in
what has become the "author's chair" to read to the class their books they
have written, illustrated, and 'published', and, with each page, show the
class the accompanied illustration. Perhaps their play has grown out of
their schooling. But is this play world tertiary? Does it really qualify as
an 'autonomous world'? Why do we actually care how it is classified primary
through tertiary, if we can understand its functionality with much finer
structure, with perhaps pursuing and investigating an explanation of whether
this play helps the children practice at being in school?

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