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Re: [xmca] The strange situation

On Apr 16, 2010, at 8:50 PM, Dot Robbins wrote:

> But, it is a very good article and speaks to some of the issues Martin raised about voluntary control (yes, Gennadi’s deep interest is volition) and conscious awareness, great points of relevance. 

Thanks for sending this very interesting article, Dot. A couple of points stand out to me. First, the focus on complexes rather than concepts evidently reflects a preference for chapter 5 over chapter 6, if I can put it that way. It's interesting that the Golden Schools draw on the notion on zoped from chapter 6, while adopting the position, contra both chapter 6 and Davydov (though Gennadi claims that it is in agreement with both Piaget and Vygotsky), that children only become able to use scientific concepts "in the later teen years." I am not suggesting that such a selective appropriation is contradictory or inappropriate, only that it would be interesting to learn its history. As Gennadi notes, the term complex "often has a negative historical meaning for us."

Second, like Larry I find the use of a pair of teachers fascinating. It runs counter to any simple interpretation of the zoped in terms of guidance by someone with more expertise. Again, I wonder about the history of this, and I want to spend more time thinking about the way the two teachers work together. The fact that one of them "takes the position of the child" while the other is "opposing" the child seems to have the kind of dramatic quality to it that Veresov is emphasizing.  I am not sure, though, what it means to say that they are "transforming the potential level within the actual level of the child's development."

Third, the use of a "lesson plot" reminds me very much of the kinds of collaborative teaching designed by teachers in the schools I visited in Michigan some years ago (in the Willow Run distinct). Teachers from different classes worked together to develop activities in which children would, for example, plan and build scale models of their houses and of the school itself. Of course such instruction is completely impossible to the world of No Child Left Behind. 


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