[xmca] Vote Park and Moro!

From: Kellogg (kellogg@snue.ac.kr)
Date: Thu Nov 09 2006 - 16:38:28 PST

The other thing I really enjoyed in the Park and Moro piece is the implicit use of DIALECTICS. Bakhtin, you remember, criticizes dialectics as "dialogue with all the concrete utterances abstracted away".

This is an important problem for me, and also for Gordon Wells and others who have tried to show that IRF is not necessarily incompatible with dialogic inquiry).

If dialectics are simply reducible to dialogism (and if dialogism represents an "ascent to the concrete from dialectics) it should be possible to see SOME kind of synthesis in the "Feedback" move. But frequently (including in Gordon Wells' work on this problem) what we see is simply continued and extended dialogue. If we're lucky!

Sometimes, when I look at the extended dialogues in my data in which the beginning idea really disappears long before the end, I think that Bakhtin's idea of endless dialogue is closer to Derrida and desconstruction than to Vygotsky and construction.

Park and Moro manage to show (I think) that the dialectical method is not really reducible to dialogism, because dialectics are in operation at the level of the SITUATION as well.

In one of their examples, the teacher wants to make the kids clean up, something the kids don't want to do. A hose breaks and creates a shower, and the kids use it as an excuse to play. Then one of them uses the shower to clean a bowl, restoring the initial situation, but on the higher level of child volition, a synthesis of work and play. Beautiful!

David Kellogg
Seoul National University of Education

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