RE: [xmca] Zoped: an interface between micro and ontogenesis?

From: SungWon Hwang (
Date: Sun Mar 19 2006 - 23:18:38 PST

I think the structural similarity or dissimilarity of tasks does not tell us
much about whether children learned something new or not as some may
experience sustainable changes and others may not (e.g., speaking a foreign
language)--this includes the issues of emotionality that is inseparable from

PS: do you teach at Seoul National University of Education, David? I am at
the Science Education Research Center of Hanyang University.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> On Behalf Of Kellogg
> Sent: Monday, March 20, 2006 3:36 PM
> To:
> Subject: [xmca] Zoped: an interface between micro and ontogenesis?
> It seems to me that one of the obvious contrasts between zoped and the
idea of
> "meaning potential" is that zoped is really intended to describle not all
> making, and not even all learning, but only learning which leads to the
> restructuring of psychological functions.
> One of the reasons why many of the uses of the zoped are vacuous is that
we have
> tried to make it describe all instances of learning. But I think Vygotsky
> knew that much learning is actually developmentally inert. To take a
> example, a baseball playing child who learns to play cricket has learned
> but he is not really at a different stage of development (else we would
have to say
> that British children somehow stand at a higher level of development than
> Americans).
> On the other hand, a child who has been playing "house" or "hospital" or
> games where concrete discourse roles are dominant and abstract rules are
> implicit might then begin playing games where abstract rules are explicit
and the
> discourse roles are only implicit (say, Chess). That child has developed,
> he/she has not only learned a new game but a whole new way of playing.
> In the same way, I think Vygotsky would argue that some forms of learning
> restructuring and others are not. When a child learns a few extra words,
the child is
> very apt to forget them. But when a child learns to read and write, or
when the child
> learns a foreign language, the child's whole language system is
> reanalyzed and restructured, and the child has not just learnt a new
thing, but a
> new way of learning. That's what the zoped means to me: a gate between
> microgenesis and ontogenesis. That's why, as Seth Chaiklin points out,
it's not just
> called a "Zone of Proximal Learning".
> David Kellogg
> Seoul National University of Education

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