RE: [xmca] Creativity

From: Peg Griffin (
Date: Wed Feb 22 2006 - 09:45:54 PST

Yes indeed!
Thanks so much for both forms of play, Ana.
And, thanks, Natalia, for recalling attention to the changing relationships
aspect of Vygostsky's theorizing.

Metaphorical thinking ascribed to kids has also worried me, not so much
about thinking in complexes (although now it will!) but about the contrast
with not-metaphor. I think what is called metaphor use by a little one is
sometimes not shown to be in a system of opposition with non-figurative
language/thought. So, diachronically speaking, maybe metaphor for kids is
not the same as for others; if that's so, the door is open for the worry
about what it is synchronically (i.e., maybe thinking in complexes). Do we
want to think of it in the same way as it may become later in the little
one's life trajectory? Or do we want to see the germ cell that yields a
subsequent form?
"Meta" may be a handle on the issue and Gombert and Goswami may help with
thinking about it: maybe what kids are doing has to do with "epilinguistic"
(? epiphoric?) phenomena rather than a metaphoric one. I found the "epi"
work very helpful when thinking about children's changing prowess with
phonological segment play/manipulation.
Here are refs from those two authors, in case:
Gombert, J. E. (1992). Metalinguistic development. London: Harvester
Goswami, U. (1999). Phonological development and reading by analogy:
Epilinguistic and metalinguistic issues. In J. Oakhill & R. Beard (Eds.),
Reading development and the teaching of reading: A psychological
perspective. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.
(858) 822-4314

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Natalia Gajdamaschko
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2006 9:18 AM
Subject: Re: [xmca] Creativity

On Tue, 21 Feb 2006 19:03:46 -0500 wrote:
> Hey XMCA,
> Do you want to play? What do you say?
> Say that you may!
> Say that you will!

Hi Ana, Mike and Dear ALL!

Ana --- Of course, we will play!
Thank you for such a nice invitation.

I think that the article of Seana Moran and Vera John-Steiner is
extraordinarily interesting, as well as your review of it, Ana!

Myself, I am interested in discussing the issue of imagination and
creativity development within the unit of analysis that Vygotsky called
"psychological systems."

Vygotsky wrote it would be strange if we imagine the development
of imagination and the development of thinking to be fixed. This is one of
Vygotsky's most basic ideas: the relationship between psychological
functions is not the same for all stages of development. That is, in each
consequent stage of development, the relationship of imagination and speech,
imagination and thinking is changing.

He wrote "One of the most fundamental ideas in the area of the development
of thinking and speech is that there can be no fixed formula which
determines the relationship between thinking and speech and which is
suitable for all stages of development and all forms of loss. In each stage
of development and each stage of loss we see a unique and changing set of
relations (Vygotsky, 1997, p. 92).

So my take on the development of creativity and imagination is this: since
we have no fixed formula for their relationships with other psychological
functions, we have to investigate "what mediates what" anew at every stage
of development.

Here I think Ana stressed similar points discussed in the article.

> > Moran and John-Steiner's article leads us through all aspects of
> > development as creative transformation of relationships between
> > developing functions: development of creative imagination in children
> > and the role of play in that process; adolescent fantasy and
> > construction of the subjective world and construction of objective
> > "external" reality as well as the interaction or even unity between
> > the two types of creativity; the relationship between imagination and
> > conceptual thinking; the importance of understanding creativity for
> > understanding the development of meaning and sense;

My concrete question is about metaphorical thinking - almost everyone
around me considers a child to be very imaginative and creative, and
definitely more metaphorically thinking compared to an adult. I almost feel
guilty by asking this question: how do we distinguish between metaphorical
and thinking in complexes?

What do Dear ALL think?
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