[xmca] Dynamics of Learning and Development

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at gmail.com>
Date: Fri Nov 23 2007 - 16:16:47 PST

(BAckground for this is in the powerpoints and discussion of development
that can be found on the xmca web page)

David K wrote: Mike, I share your frustration with binaries, and I think LSV
did too. But I'm also frustrated with people who simply say that "it's more
complicated than that", with reference to Vygotsky's central and peripheral
functions, without being able to clearly explain why the complications they
want to introduce are relevant to DEVELOPMENT and not simply learning.

So how do make progress here?
We have serious problems, LSV's chapter on the subject notwithstanding,
being clear about the difference between learning and development.
Presumably the latter refers to phase shifts in the qualitative organization
of constituents of a process (lets call it an individual life if that does
not get us in immediate trouble) where the relations between the parts are
reorganized and coordinated AND, at the same time there is a corresponding
(and NECESSARY) corresponding change in individual-environmental
interactions. Waddington: Each new level of organization is a new relevant

Now to central and peripheral lines of development (and their relation to
such ideas as social situation of development SSD) and leading activity).

I am stimulated by LSV's discussion of these issues in "The problem of age"
and related chapters on crises in development intermixed with periods of
apparently slow change or near stasis that appear to be stages.
I am happy to entertain the idea of a central line of development and
peripheral lines that form a gestalt-like organization in change. But I am
suspicious of the idea of a single, overarching, SSD, and I have the
suspicion that
what constitute leading and peripheral lines of development depend important
on the specific activity that is the proximal environment of the child
(environment understood as a dynamic process of which the child is a part).

So I ask for examples. I will post an example of a major turning point in
development (not an LSV crisis, but a turning point that appears to involve
a reconfiguration of biological, social, and affective elements, at least).
If others could post examples of what, concretely, illustrate the general
theoretical point being made, maybe we could get beyond both dichotomies and
frustrations (for a little while, until our own collective crisis occurs!).
(I include the example as an attachment because the formatting is all
screwed up when moved from textbook to xmca gmail page).

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Received on Fri Nov 23 16:17 PST 2007

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