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Re: [xmca] Re: xmca Digest, Vol 50, Issue 63

Hi Karen-- Interesting idea to introduce ethos into the discussion of
activity and mediation, solidarity
and sociality.

>From dictionary.com (not that I mind Eisner!):

 1. Sociology. the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the
underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of a
group or society; dominant assumptions of a people or period: In the Greek
ethos the individual was highly valued.   2. the character or disposition of
a community, group, person, etc.   3. the moral element in dramatic
literature that determines a character's action rather than his or her
thought or emotion.
I am not certain, however, that I would agree that ethos can be considered a
tertiary artifact (it does not seem to fit with
Wartofsky's proposal for what that term means, but the term itself needs
elaboration, so maybe it works well) and substituting
it for consumption in the Engestrom model seems odd. Playing on the example
above, might we not say that in the American
ethos, consumption is highly valued? (Contrast the Soviet emphasis on
production -- of course, both are required in all

Where does Tomasello use the term "joint mediated activity." I can see
something like "object mediated intersubjectivity" (or action) in his work,
but where does he talk about activity in contrast action, intentionality, or
intersubjectivity arise??


On Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 11:15 AM, Karen Spear Ellinwood <
kse@email.arizona.edu> wrote:

>  in response to Jay Lemke's comments:
>  >
>  I like your term "ur-solidarity" and the idea that this is more than
> social
> convention.
>  My sense is that there is more to the social structure and social
> relations
> that occur in activity than simply the milieu we join as newcomers,
> although
> there is that too.  I think what happens is that in the activity of
> building
> social structure is the generation of Ethos - the guiding principles of
> social
> relations and activity combined. When newcomers arrive, they do not simply
> adopt the Ethos. Rather, if the community ethos is repugnant to them (which
> in
> some organizations it might be, of course not this one, but originating
> from NY
> I can think of a few that might turn off some)...then they would not join.
>  Repugnance, then, would be the outer parameter defining refusal to
> join/participate.  Curiosity would define the minimal parameter -
> attraction.
> Some sort of common ground with the ethos or guiding principles as they are
> illuminated or performed in activity by existing members of the community
> would
> then be grounds for participation - true engagement.
>  Once a newcomer joins, she/he contributes to the further development of
> Ethos
> through engagement in activity. All activity is an expression or
> performance of
> the community ethos.
>  I think ethos is what is at the core of any activity system. It does not
> pre-exist, but develops along with and through the initial social structure
> and
> activity. It?s a tertiary artifact of activity.
>  Theoretically, I borrow more from sociology on the concept of Ethos but
> include Tomasello?s concept of joint mediated activity as well.
>  Ethos is ?the underlying deep structure of a culture, the values that
> animate
> it, that collectively constitute its way of life? (Eisner 1994, p. 2)
> (emphasis
> added).  Ethos is the ideational environment in which people interact, a
> set of
> guiding principles emerging and developing through the dialogic interaction
> of
> the members of a shared discourse (Eisner, 1994). Dialogic or perspectival
> representations of ethos emerge through interaction with others and enables
> the
> development and sustenance of ?collective practices and beliefs? (Tomasello
> &
> Rakoczy, 2003). In this way, we can see it emerges from ?the relationship
> between people and [represents] the values and principles underpinning
> policy
> and practice (Glover & Coleman, 2005).  Its importance is that ?an ethos is
> evaluative? and ?manifested in many aspects of the? community and has a
> pervasive influence ?in the shaping of human perceptions, attitudes,
> beliefs?
> (p. 311).
>  It is, then, at the heart of the emergence and development of productive,
> collaborative, and distributive practices. If we substitute, for example,
> Ethos
> for Consumption in Engeström?s expression of activity, it would seem that
> we
> could imagine ethos as a mediational force (means) in all realms of
> activity,
> production, collaboration (exchange) and distribution forms part of the
> context
> that is interwoven in actions and activity - it would be the glue that
> holds the
> center, if you will. In other words, organizations stay together not simply
> because of what they do ? or the success of what they do, but because of
> they
> believe in the social importance of what they do.
>  Obviously ethos doesn't develop overnight and so including it in
> understanding the underlying social structure of activity and production
> accommodates the respective contributions of newcomers and old-timers in
> ongoing activity.  It is also imagines ethos as an ?unfinished product?
> much
> like the concept of co-configuration.
>  Karen
>  Karen C. Spear-Ellinwood
> PhD Candidate, College of Education
> Dept. of Teaching, Language & Sociocultural Studies
> kse@email.arizona.edu
> Cell: 520-878-6034
> phone: 520-829-0749
> -------------------------
>  Quoting xmca-request@weber.ucsd.edu:
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>> Today's Topics:
>> 1. Re: Half a coconut (Jay Lemke)
>> 2. elluminators please illuminate! (Mike Cole)
>> 3. Fwd: [xmca] Intensions in context and speech complexity ;
>> From 2-? (Jay Lemke)
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Sat, 25 Jul 2009 16:27:40 +0200
>> From: Jay Lemke Subject: Re: [xmca] Half a coconut
>> To: mcole@weber.ucsd.edu, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
>> Message-ID: Content-Type: text/plain; charset=WINDOWS-1252; format=flowed;
>> delsp=yes
>> I certainly understand that both Michael's MCA editorial on this, and
>> a lot of the background literature, may not be familiar to many xcma-
>> ers. And my timing in retrospect was not good in the midst of another
>> ongoing discussion.
>> In any case, I think there are important issues, and we can maybe find
>> a time and occasion to get more into some of them.
>> As to the always-already ongoing "communitas", the ground of co-
>> activity that is suggested as the basis for a sort of ur-solidarity
>> that is not simply a social convention, it's always already there in
>> the community into which we come, whether by birth or immigration. A
>> bit like what newcomers to xmca must sense when they first arrive in
>> our online co-activity!
>> JAY.
>> Jay Lemke
>> Professor
>> Educational Studies
>> University of Michigan
>> Ann Arbor, MI 48109
>> www.umich.edu/~jaylemke <http://www.umich.edu/%7Ejaylemke>
>> On Jul 25, 2009, at 2:15 AM, Mike Cole wrote:
>>  Seems like you only got stunned silence back on this, Jay. Part of the
>>> problem is almost certainly that many readers of xmca do not read
>>> MCA, so
>>> when we do not have a common text to refer to, we are in a fix.
>>> The part of what I take from this that overlaps other matters I am
>>> working
>>> on at present is the following:
>>> "the notion of an ontological or pre-discursive, actional solidarity
>>> seems
>>> very close to Victor Turner’s famous _communitas_: originating in the
>>> underlying experience of co-activity, which is prior to social
>>> structural
>>> relations and can be glimpsed when these are set aside (his
>>> liminality,
>>> Bakhtin’s carnival)"
>>> I am not sure when the "underlying of co-activity" begins. Perhaps
>>> its there
>>> in utero. Perhaps (a la Trevarthan) its there as
>>> primary intersubjectivity at birth. But co-activity also appears to
>>> require
>>> adjustments upon infant and mother's parts (and more
>>> so for fathers).
>>> I know this comment does not address the ontology/truth/morality
>>> issues
>>> involved, but those are beyond my powers to grok
>>> without a lot more help!!
>>> mike
>>> On Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 6:02 AM, Jay Lemke  wrote:
>>>> I recently had a chance to read more carefully Wolf-Michael Roth's
>>>> MCA
>>>> editorial on Solidarity and Responsibility.
>>>> I know that there was some prior discussion of it here, in a thread
>>>> about
>>>> the eyes of a coconut, but that seems to have veered off from what
>>>> seems
>>>> interesting to me in the editorial, which was highlighted by Derek
>>>> Melser at
>>>> one point. I don't know if I've missed any subsequent discussion,
>>>> but don't
>>>> find it in the archives, at least with a google search.
>>>> So here are some notes on the ideas and arguments in the editorial,
>>>> for any
>>>> who are interested. (W-M R and I have been on a firstname basis for
>>>> a very
>>>> long time, but he's "Roth" in the notes because it's shorter!)
>>>> Notes on Roth editorial MCA
>>>> Solidarity and Responsibility. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 16: 105–
>>>> 116,
>>>> 2009.
>>>> = Roth appears to argue from Is to Ought, from a holistic-extension
>>>> notion
>>>> of primal solidarity in being/doing, prior to discursive notions of
>>>> voluntary solidarity, for a moral responsibility to respect, indeed
>>>> to
>>>> privilege uniqueness in the Other, rather than simple not-I
>>>> differentiation
>>>> and the corresponding notion of a constructed collective and its
>>>> artificial
>>>> solidarity.
>>>> = the notion of an ontological or pre-discursive, actional solidarity
>>>> seems very close to Victor Turner’s famous _communitas_:
>>>> originating in the
>>>> underlying experience of co-activity, which is prior to social
>>>> structural
>>>> relations and can be glimpsed when these are set aside (his
>>>> liminality,
>>>> Bakhtin’s carnival)
>>>> = Turner also argues in parallel with Buddhist philosophy (prajna vs
>>>> vijnana, or roughly intuition vs discursive reason), that
>>>> difference is the
>>>> product of social relations and discursive semantics, while what
>>>> precedes
>>>> them is more holistic.
>>>> = the notion of partes extra partes with which Roth characterizes
>>>> his view
>>>> of the ontology of unique wholes is a bit ambiguous in the
>>>> philosophical
>>>> tradition
>>>> there is a Cartesian version of it which is atomistic – every part
>>>> exists
>>>> outside of and independent of every other part, and which leads to
>>>> a view of
>>>> space as consisting of just one damn place after another, only
>>>> externally
>>>> relatable
>>>> and then there is also the Leibnizian version, which I think is the
>>>> one
>>>> Roth is using, in which each thing or place is an extension or
>>>> diffusion of
>>>> its own unique qualities, but in which a principle like that of the
>>>> mirroring of monads allows larger scenes to also be wholes, within
>>>> which
>>>> qualities may extend across what on smaller scales are parts apart
>>>> from one
>>>> another, hence providing the sort of holism of absolute
>>>> differentnesses or
>>>> uniquenesses that Roth seems to want
>>>> = Roth takes all this finally to classrooms, schools-as-educating
>>>> communities, and the paradoxes of democracy. If we are all unique
>>>> within
>>>> larger wholes, then it makes sense to pay attention to others’
>>>> viewpoints
>>>> when decisions are to be made, indeed the more diverse the input
>>>> the more
>>>> likely a good, or at least an as-thoughtful-as-possible decision.
>>>> Some such decisions are not really decisions, outcomes are largely
>>>> predetermined by circumstances (habitual, predictable, routine);
>>>> but others
>>>> require breaking out of predictable patterns, choosing the risky or
>>>> unlikely
>>>> alternative, creating new options – and so new wholes, within which
>>>> we all
>>>> become newly unique-again. (Which, by the way, is in itself a good
>>>> moral
>>>> argument for democratic decision-making, since we are all always
>>>> affected in
>>>> fundamental ways by decisions. Despite our cultural and masculinist
>>>> preference for the illusion of our independence. Being unique and
>>>> partes
>>>> extra partes does not, in the holistic paradigm, insure our
>>>> independence,
>>>> just the opposite. This might go some way towards explaining the
>>>> popularity
>>>> of Cartesian atomism, where we can just ignore the other atoms.)
>>>> Voluntarist solidarity, Roth is arguing, I think, is dangerous
>>>> because it
>>>> presupposes the atomist Cartesian ontology of our being: we begin
>>>> and remain
>>>> autonomous, we choose to come together in communities. What can be
>>>> chosen,
>>>> can also not be chosen. What is voluntary can be suspended,
>>>> delegated to
>>>> dictators, elites, teachers, curriculum bureaus.
>>>> Holistic solidarity, like communitas, on the other hand arises in our
>>>> being and doing together, which is a condition into which we are
>>>> born and
>>>> from which we never entirely depart (having internalized so much of
>>>> it
>>>> before we even try to get away). But it is nonetheless a condition
>>>> that also
>>>> reinforces our uniqueness (or supports it, or from which it is
>>>> emergent,
>>>> depending on your metaphysics), and from which we can no more get
>>>> away than
>>>> we can get away from ourselves.
>>>> But I am still not entirely sure that Roth is not over-claiming on
>>>> how
>>>> much democratic Ought is derivable from the holistic Is. Bakhtin is
>>>> fairly
>>>> casual about the logic of the ideational and the axiological (in
>>>> his later
>>>> terms), or the twin answerabilities of response and responsibility.
>>>> I am not
>>>> well enough read in Levinas to say in his case. Personally I don’t
>>>> see why
>>>> we should want to ground the moral-ethical in the ontological, in
>>>> the nature
>>>> of things. Isn’t that theology? Because a God exists, we should do
>>>> what He
>>>> says? Isn’t a secular philosophical version of this kind of
>>>> argument just
>>>> another desire to privilege the ontological, the factual, the true
>>>> over the
>>>> Good?
>>>> For me the good, the ought, in its many forms and aspects, has its
>>>> own
>>>> standing, equal with the true, and not subordinate to it. The good
>>>> and the
>>>> true, or by degrees as we really experience them, the more or less
>>>> desirable, the more or less likely, along with the more or less
>>>> important,
>>>> the more or less surprising, serious/humorous, mysterious/
>>>> comprehensible,
>>>> etc. all stand as equal partes extra partes in relation to one
>>>> another.
>>>> As they do in the semantics of our language. And I think as they
>>>> also do
>>>> experientially and phenomenologically, though the holism of
>>>> experience will
>>>> be something not so neatly corresponding to semantic categories,
>>>> will feel
>>>> like something more of a mish-mash, at least as seen from the neat
>>>> typologies of language and philosophy done in language.
>>>> From here this discussion could go in many directions, so I will
>>>> stop for
>>>> now and see what others may say.
>>>> Jay.
>>>> Jay Lemke
>>>> Professor
>>>> Educational Studies
>>>> University of Michigan
>>>> Ann Arbor, MI 48109
>>>> www.umich.edu/~jaylemke <http://www.umich.edu/%7Ejaylemke>_______________________________________________
>>>> xmca mailing list
>>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>  _______________________________________________
>>> xmca mailing list
>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>> ------------------------------
>> Message: 2
>> Date: Sat, 25 Jul 2009 08:26:31 -0700
>> From: Mike Cole Subject: [xmca] elluminators please illuminate!
>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture,Activity" Message-ID:
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>> A "seat" licence appears to cost $100.00 for elluminate.
>> Those using it-- what does a site licence cost and who pays for it where
>> you
>> are??
>> mike
>> ------------------------------
>> Message: 3
>> Date: Sat, 25 Jul 2009 18:40:10 +0200
>> From: Jay Lemke Subject: Fwd: [xmca] Intensions in context and speech
>> complexity ;
>> From 2-?
>> To: XMCA Forum Message-ID: Content-Type: text/plain; charset=WINDOWS-1252;
>> format=flowed;
>> delsp=yes
>> Mike sent this but it went only to me. He wanted it to go to the list.
>> Jay Lemke
>> Professor
>> Educational Studies
>> University of Michigan
>> Ann Arbor, MI 48109
>> www.umich.edu/~jaylemke <http://www.umich.edu/%7Ejaylemke>
>> Begin forwarded message:
>>  From: Mike Cole Date: July 25, 2009 2:26:14 AM GMT+02:00
>>> To: Jay Lemke Subject: Re: [xmca] Intensions in context and speech
>>> complexity ;
>>> From 2-?
>>> Reply-To: mcole@weber.ucsd.edu
>>> Yep, you got at what I was trying to discuss, Jay. And some of the
>>> factors that I thought might provoke such spotty
>>> "precociousness." I do not know Halliday well enough to know if what
>>> you describe explains what I was asking about,
>>> the general set of considerations you raise resonate.
>>> David Kel and I discussed these issues a little by phone (taking
>>> advantage of his presence in my time zone for a while).
>>> It seems like the absence of kids being able to use speech on behalf
>>> of their own motives in the way classrooms ordinarily
>>> work -- e.g. they are in the responder role and have to guess at
>>> what the teacher is after/about -- would reduce the complexity of
>>> the thoughts to which they can give expression.
>>> I believe that some of the electronic comm media such as elluminate
>>> (as described by people in recent notes) may be an example
>>> of conditions under which students can be more in control of what
>>> they get to say and as a result get more agentive, excited, and
>>> perhaps, even learn more.
>>> mike
>>> PS-- Long ago -- like in the early 1980's -- some of my colleagues
>>> at LCHC found that if they had an asynchronous discussion
>>> group that accompanied the live class, some of the students who
>>> never responded, or did so only with difficulty, were leaders
>>> in the a-synchronous interactions. My guess was that the shift in
>>> medium changed the constraints on communication, "freeing"
>>> some who could not manage the pace of the classroom. Not entirely
>>> unlike the frequent comment that many people who mostly
>>> read but do not write on xmca are knocked over by the pace and rapid
>>> shifting.
>>> On Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 10:35 AM, Jay Lemke wrote:
>>> I am replying to Mike's much earlier message about context and
>>> speech complexity, though I've read the subsequent discussion,
>>> mainly because I remain interested in the original issue he brought
>>> up. I know the discussion has shifted, as it so often does, more to
>>> critiques of ideas of internalization, but that seems to have
>>> happened in part because one reading of Mike's question led to the
>>> suggestion that internalization was an important part of the answer.
>>> My version of his question is this:
>>> How do we understand the phenomenon of young speakers producing much
>>> more complex forms of speech in activities in which they appear to
>>> have more intrinsic motivation and authentic interest, compared to
>>> activities in which they are just following someone else's lead?
>>> I am not an expert on early childhood language development, but I am
>>> a developmentalist in the sense that I analyze meaning-making across
>>> all timescales as a building up of later meanings on top of earlier
>>> ones to reach greater complexity and efficacy. Just as in biological
>>> development the complexity and efficacy (for something) of later
>>> stages depends on the foundations laid in earlier ones (hence the
>>> link with evolution).
>>> I believe it is a well-known phenomenon in language development --
>>> and I mean that term as shorthand for increasing complexity and
>>> efficacy in (self- or other- directed) speech as an integral
>>> component of some larger activity -- that new speakers occasionally
>>> produce much more "advanced" speech than the average of what they
>>> produce in some time frame (i.e. speech more like the average in a
>>> much later timeframe). I think this is also true of other sorts of
>>> longer-term learning processes. There are just time when it all
>>> comes together for us and we perform with an apparent capability
>>> well ahead of our usual performances. We appear to leap forward, and
>>> then fall back.
>>> Is this just luck? sometimes perhaps, and sometimes it is the over-
>>> interpretation of the observer, reading more meaning into the speech
>>> than may have been "intended" (another shorthand). But we also know
>>> that in the case of speech, receptive understanding encompasses such
>>> more complex forms, even if active production rarely or never-before
>>> has shown them. And that of course has something to do with the more
>>> complex forms being present in the environment, the community, the
>>> co-activity with others. So the fact that it may not be
>>> reproducible, or that it may not recur across different settings,
>>> may not necessarily mean that it was not "intentional" (i.e.
>>> functionally and deliberately meaningful on the part of the new
>>> producer).
>>> It may have arisen in play, in exploration of wording-possibilities.
>>> It may have arisen in a less-self-monitoring context where
>>> inhibitions against more complex production for fear of errors,
>>> ridicule, communication failure, etc. were much reduced (like
>>> speaking a foreign language when just a little drunk). It may have
>>> been driven past all inhibitions or obstacles by intense desire or
>>> need.
>>> Or it may have been abetted by particularly supportive
>>> circumstances. My own hypothesis about what Mike seems to be
>>> describing is that precocious speech is more likely to occur when
>>> more complex meanings are easier to build up on top of already
>>> familiar meaning-speakings. Halliday gives some examples of this for
>>> spoken dialogue, where very complex verb tenses will appear that are
>>> far more complex than those normally (or ever) seen in written text,
>>> because speakers build up time-relational meanings on top of prior
>>> speakers sayings. This is micro-developmental, on the logogenetic or
>>> text-production timescale (seconds to minutes).
>>> What circumstances support such short-term climbing to new heights?
>>> it may be a particular speech-partner, it may be a particular
>>> familiar topic, it may be a rush of need or desire to make the more
>>> complex meaning, which is a meaning that has become appropriate to
>>> the moment in the ongoing activity because we have been able to get
>>> that far in terms of building connections on connections, meanings
>>> (including those made by nonverbal gestures, actions, etc.) on
>>> meanings.
>>> It seems reasonable to me that there ought to be a strong social-
>>> situational correlation between activities in which we are heavily
>>> personally invested, or just really enjoy or want or need, and those
>>> in which the other factors I've suggested are available to support
>>> climbing unusually high up the ladder of meaning complexity -- i.e.
>>> of meanings built on other meanings.
>>> What do you think?
>>> JAY.
>>> Jay Lemke
>>> Professor
>>> Educational Studies
>>> University of Michigan
>>> Ann Arbor, MI 48109
>>> www.umich.edu/~jaylemke <http://www.umich.edu/%7Ejaylemke>
>>> On Jul 20, 2009, at 6:06 AM, Mike Cole wrote:
>>>  Hi Lois--
>>>> I appear eerily unable to communicate the issue that is the focus
>>>> of my
>>>> attention which is not whether kids imitate the language around
>>>> them, but
>>>> for the difference in performance of the same kids, within hours or
>>>> so of
>>>> when they first say something complicated, to "revert" to a
>>>> simplified
>>>> version of that utterance at about the level of what they do when
>>>> asked to
>>>> repeat
>>>> an utterance dreamed up by an experimenter to test some theory of the
>>>> process of grammatical development.
>>>> The kids are performing in both cases. But in one case they are
>>>> performing
>>>> to achieve THEIR goals. In the other they
>>>> are performing to achieve goals they have little understanding of.
>>>> Something or other ideas think furiously.
>>>> Neither you nor David, so far as I can tell, addresses the question
>>>> I am
>>>> asking. Since you both know a ton more about
>>>> language acquisition than I figure I am being totally dense. What
>>>> am I
>>>> missing here?
>>>> About Vygotsky writing *Something which is only supposed to take
>>>> shape at
>>>> the very end of development, somehow influences the very first
>>>> steps in this
>>>> development.
>>>> *I believe that Vygotsky is stating a very widely held view of the
>>>> process
>>>> of development, one which can be found in many scientific sources
>>>> but which
>>>> also has deep roots in the Judeo-Christian (and probably lots of
>>>> other
>>>> traditions). Here is a version of it from
>>>> T.S. Elliot, "East Coker" but I believe it is also intimately
>>>> related to the
>>>> idea of a spiral of development which is often found in
>>>> Hegelian and Marxist thought. Anyway, here is one catholic-convert's
>>>> expression of the idea:
>>>> In my beginning is my end. In succession
>>>> Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended,
>>>> Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place
>>>> Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass.
>>>> Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires,
>>>> Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth
>>>> Which is already flesh, fur and faeces,
>>>> Bone of man and beast, cornstalk and leaf.
>>>> Houses live and die: there is a time for building
>>>> And a time for living and for generation
>>>> And a time for the wind to break the loosened pane
>>>> And to shake the wainscot where the field-mouse trots
>>>> And to shake the tattered arras woven with a silent motto.
>>>> In my beginning is my end. Now the light falls
>>>> Across the open field, leaving the deep lane
>>>> Shuttered with branches, dark in the afternoon,
>>>> Where you lean against a bank while a van passes,
>>>> And the deep lane insists on the direction
>>>> Into the village, in the electric heat
>>>> Hypnotised. In a warm haze the sultry light
>>>> Is absorbed, not refracted, by grey stone.
>>>> The dahlias sleep in the empty silence.
>>>> Wait for the early owl.
>>>> In that open field
>>>> If you do not come too close, if you do not come too close,
>>>> On a summer midnight, you can hear the music
>>>> Of the weak pipe and the little drum
>>>> And see them dancing around the bonfire
>>>> The association of man and woman
>>>> In daunsinge, signifying matrimonie—
>>>> A dignified and commodiois sacrament.
>>>> Two and two, necessarye coniunction,
>>>> Holding eche other by the hand or the arm
>>>> Whiche betokeneth concorde. Round and round the fire
>>>> Leaping through the flames, or joined in circles,
>>>> Rustically solemn or in rustic laughter
>>>> Lifting heavy feet in clumsy shoes,
>>>> Earth feet, loam feet, lifted in country mirth
>>>> Mirth of those long since under earth
>>>> Nourishing the corn. Keeping time,
>>>> Keeping the rhythm in their dancing
>>>> As in their living in the living seasons
>>>> The time of the seasons and the constellations
>>>> The time of milking and the time of harvest
>>>> The time of the coupling of man and woman
>>>> And that of beasts. Feet rising and falling.
>>>> Eating and drinking. Dung and death.
>>>> Dawn points, and another day
>>>> Prepares for heat and silence. Out at sea the dawn wind
>>>> Wrinkles and slides. I am here
>>>> Or there, or elsewhere. In my beginning.
>>>> *
>>>> *
>>>> On Sun, Jul 19, 2009 at 8:47 PM, Lois Holzman <
>>>> lholzman@eastsideinstitute.org> wrote:
>>>>  Hi All,Mike's post sent me back to my most recent thinking on
>>>>> imitation
>>>>> (two weeks ago!) as well as to my language development research in
>>>>> the
>>>>> mid-70s with Lois Bloom. I do recall that my first published article
>>>>> (Imitation in Language Development: If, When and Why) was one of a
>>>>> handful
>>>>> at the time that focused on spontaneous imitation as opposed to
>>>>> elicited
>>>>> imitation, such as Slobin's study Mike refers to.OUr findings from
>>>>> longitudinal data from 6 children from single words to syntax were
>>>>> quite
>>>>> interesting: by our operational definitions, some of them didn't
>>>>> imitate and
>>>>> their language development was similar to those that imitated.
>>>>> Those that
>>>>> did imitate, imitated what they were in the process of learning,
>>>>> and not
>>>>> what they knew well nor what was beyond them. Today I would say they
>>>>> imitated what was in their ZPD and that their imitations were
>>>>> part of
>>>>> creating that ZPD.
>>>>> So it seems to me that the change referred to —to the more
>>>>> simplified
>>>>> form— could be understood as the child making meaning with what
>>>>> has been
>>>>> said, playing with it, creating with it, using it. For the social
>>>>> situation
>>>>> doesn't end just because the child is alone--s/he takes it with
>>>>> her/him; it
>>>>> becomes part of her/his life world and repertoire.
>>>>> What I can add about the relevance to school is the importance of
>>>>> opportunities for language play, and especially the kind of creative
>>>>> imitation Vygotsky believes is critical for very young children.
>>>>> For the
>>>>> most part schools do not create opportunities for children to play
>>>>> with
>>>>> language in the way that is described here. We've created this
>>>>> thing called
>>>>> "vocabulary" which they are obliged to learn. Children are asked
>>>>> to get the
>>>>> correct or finished version tas quickly as possible—and they are
>>>>> typically
>>>>> given simplified language to help them do this. There is little of
>>>>> the
>>>>> playfulness that happens when the language around you is not
>>>>> simplified, and
>>>>> you are free to play with and use it in a variety of ways.
>>>>> Perhaps helpful in adding to what I am saying is part of this
>>>>> quote from
>>>>> Vygotsky, which I wrote about in an article several years ago and
>>>>> resurrected for a just completed chapter for Cathrene-Ana-Vera's
>>>>> upcoming
>>>>> volume:
>>>>> But is fully developed speech, which the child is only able to
>>>>> master at
>>>>> the end of this period of development, already present in the
>>>>> child’s
>>>>> environment? It is, indeed. The child speaks in one word
>>>>> phrases, but
>>>>> his mother talks to him in language which is already grammatically
>>>>> and
>>>>> syntactically formed and which has a large vocabulary*… *Let us
>>>>> agree to
>>>>> call this developed form, which is supposed to make its appearance
>>>>> at the
>>>>> end of the child’s development, the final or ideal form. And let
>>>>> us call the
>>>>> child’s form of speech the primary or rudimentary form. The
>>>>> greatest
>>>>> characteristic feature of child development is that this
>>>>> development is
>>>>> achieved under particular conditions of interaction with the
>>>>> environment,
>>>>> where this …form which is going to appear only at the end of the
>>>>> process of
>>>>> development is not only already there in the environment … but
>>>>> actually
>>>>> interacts and exerts a real influence on the primary form, on the
>>>>> first
>>>>> steps of the child’s development. *Something which is only
>>>>> supposed to
>>>>> take shape at the very end of development, somehow influences the
>>>>> very first
>>>>> steps in this development. *(Vygotsky, 1994, p. 348—the article is
>>>>> The
>>>>> Problem of the Environment, appearing in The Vygotsky Reader)
>>>>> Apologies for
>>>>> the slightly abridged version of the passage.
>>>>> Not surprisingly, I "relate" creative imitation to performance....
>>>>> Lois
>>>>> Lois Holzman, Director
>>>>> East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy
>>>>> 920 Broadway, 14th floor
>>>>> New York NY 10010
>>>>> tel. 212.941.8906 ext. 324
>>>>> fax 212.941.0511
>>>>> lholzman@eastsideinstitute.org
>>>>> www.eastsideinstitute.org
>>>>> www.performingtheworld.org loisholzman.org On Jul 16, 2009, at 5:00
>>>>> PM, Mike Cole wrote:
>>>>> David's note of a few days ago on 3-7 year old changes in
>>>>> egocentric speech
>>>>> reminded
>>>>> me of an old article by Slobin and Welch (reprinted in Ferguson
>>>>> and Slobin,
>>>>> *Studies of Child Development, 1963)
>>>>> *that it took a while to track down. The study is often cited in
>>>>> studies of
>>>>> elicited imitation where an adult says some
>>>>> sentence and asks a little kid to repeat it. Kids simplify the
>>>>> sentence in
>>>>> normal circumstances ("Where is the kitty"
>>>>> becomes "where kitty") and other such stuff. There is a pretty large
>>>>> literature on this.
>>>>> But when I went to find the phenomenon in the article that had
>>>>> most struck
>>>>> me, I could not find it in the recent lit
>>>>> on elicited imitation. The phenomenon seems relevant to the
>>>>> monologic,
>>>>> dialogic etc speech discussion.
>>>>> The phenomenon is this: When a 2yr/5month old child is recorded
>>>>> saying
>>>>> "If
>>>>> you finish your eggs all up, Daddy, you
>>>>> can have your coffee." they can repeat this sentence pretty much
>>>>> as it is
>>>>> right afterward. But 10 minutes later it has
>>>>> become simplified a la the usual observation.
>>>>> Citing William James (the child has an "intention to say so and
>>>>> so") Slobin
>>>>> and Welch remark:
>>>>> If that linguistic form is presented for imitation while the
>>>>> intention is
>>>>> still operative, it can be faily successfully imitated. Once the
>>>>> intention
>>>>> is gone, however, the utterance must be processed in linguistic
>>>>> terms alone
>>>>> -- without its original intentional and
>>>>> contextual support." In the absence of such support, the task can
>>>>> strain
>>>>> the child's abilities and reveal a more limited competence than may
>>>>> actually
>>>>> be present in spontaneous speech (p. 489-90).
>>>>> This kind of observation seems relevant in various ways both to
>>>>> language
>>>>> acquisition in school settings and to my reccurrent
>>>>> questions about the social situation of development. Is it
>>>>> relevant to the
>>>>> discussion of egocentric and social speech, David?
>>>>> mike
>>>>> _______________________________________________
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