Fwd: Re: [xmca] Empirical Support for the ZPD?

From: Andy Blunden (ablunden@mira.net)
Date: Mon Oct 16 2006 - 02:53:42 PDT

>Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2006 17:48:26 +1000
>To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>From: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
>Subject: Re: [xmca] Empirical Support for the ZPD?
>It seems a surprising claim to me David, the idea that either, there is no
>area of activity which a university student can perform with the
>assistance of a more experienced academic, which they cannot yet perform
>unaided, or that if there is such an area, that such assistance should
>never foster the possibility that the university student could perform the
>activity unaided, or if this is not the case, that such learning would
>never generalise into the university student learning to do other
>activities unaided, utilising the newly acquired skills.
>What am I missing? When does childhood end?
>(BTW, like Ana I am totally intrigued by your categories of speech act)
>At 07:20 PM 15/10/2006 -0700, you wrote:
>>I'm a little leary of applying the ZPD to university students. It seems
>>to me that Vygotsky intended to describe something rather specific to
>>child development--the ability of learning to completely restructure the
>>way the child learns. Not sure that happens at university level; alas,
>>I'm quite sure it doesn't happen in my classroom.
>>I HAVE been having a very cognitively restructuring discussion with Mike
>>about the cross-species ZPD, though. Since inter-species communication is
>>probably a specialized interest, we took this off-list. However,
>>empirical support for the existence of a ZPD is obviously not a
>>specialized interest, so Mike suggested we take things back to you.
>>Rather than recapitulate our discussion of whether monkeys and people
>>play really play together, I'd like to tout a paper co-authored with one
>>of my grad students (to be published in Applied Linguistics in either
>>March or June of next year).
>>(I'm a little unclear about the legality of distributing the article
>>pre-publication, but if people want I'll send it off line or I can
>>somehow figure out how to store it in the classroom Zopeds section if I
>>can square the editors.)
>>The argument is roughly as follows. Ontogenetically, children appear to
>>develop from rote babbling, to role-based play (such as "House") to
>>rule-governed games. Microgenetically, language appears to develop from
>>complex discourse (such as the explanation of rules or the assignment of
>>roles, both of which take many, usually short, turns) to complex grammar
>>(e.g. "So the student who has the most cards will win the game.")
>>If we take the SAME group of fifth graders, and we play rule-based games
>>with them, we'll find a "tall and thin" type of dicourse, because the
>>children are really on the leading edge of their zone of proximal
>>development, and new language is being inter-mentally co-constructed. In
>>contrast, when we set them to role-play, we'll find a "short and fat"
>>type of grammar, because the kids are externalizing already grammaticized
>>That's exactly what we DO find: the same children rely on more "frozen
>>pairs" ("Hi!" "Hi!"), more "preferred responses" ("How are you?" "Fine.")
>>and more independent initiates ("Why do you say that?") in role plays.
>>But in rule-based play there are more "melted pairs" ("How are you?"
>>"Terrible!"), more dispreferred responses ("You are bad!") and more
>>dependent initiates ("Why?"). So, rule-based games create taller,
>>thinner, more inter-mental, vertical constructions, and role-based play
>>creates a shorter, fatter, more intra-mental externalization of long
>>horizontal constructions.
>>Yes, I admit, the methodology is a little dodgy. In particular, it does
>>appear to assume that cross sectional differences have developmental (and
>>not simply cross sectional) significance. I know that it's not empirical
>>PROOF of a ZPD. But I think it is empirical SUPPORT, something that
>>suggests that the zoped is not simply a cute metaphor or a collective
>>David Kellogg
>>Seoul National University of Education
>>A rather desperate question for the list. Van der Veer and Valsiner claim
>>that Vygotsky always referred to the idea that intra-mental phenomena
>>like grammar have an inter-mental origin such as discourse as "Janet's
>>Law", in honor of Freud's nemesis, Pierre Janet. But here's the closest
>>thing I've found. As you can see, it's not very close!
>>Ą°DĄŻailleurs, y-a-t-il une grande difference entre une function et une
>>idee? La function est comme lĄŻidee un systeme dĄŻimage associees
>>etroitement les une avec les autres de maniere a pourvoir sĄŻ evoquer
>>lĄŻun lĄŻautre. La seule difference, cĄŻest quĄŻune function comme celle
>>du language est un systeme beaucoup plus considerable que celui dĄŻun
>>idee, elle contient des millier de termes au lieu du petit nombre des
>>images que nous avions reunie dans le polygone constitutive dĄŻune idee.
>>La seconde difference capitale cĄŻest quĄŻune idee est un systeme recent
>>que nous avons forme dans le cours de notre vie, tandis que la function
>>est un vaste systeme etabli autrefois par nos ancetres. Une idee est une
>>function qui commence, une function est une idee de nos ancetres qui a
>>Janet, P. (1909) Les Nevroses. Paris: Flammarion. P. 87
>>Does anybody have a better quote or a more precise place to look? Janet's
>>writing is voluminous, but almost entirely clinical, as far as I can tell!
>>xmca mailing list
> Andy Blunden : http://home.mira.net/~andy/ tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435, AIM
> identity: AndyMarxists mobile 0409 358 651

  Andy Blunden : http://home.mira.net/~andy/ tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435, AIM
identity: AndyMarxists mobile 0409 358 651

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