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Re: [xmca] Fleer/Hedegaard for discussion

I also just finished reading Marilyn and Marianna's excellent article.
Their extending Vygotsky's construct of neoformations to engage the notion of institutional structures as reconstructing the child's consciousness of reality is fertile ground for further elaboration of development as transformations within  the child as the child meets new demands upon entering new institutions.  
One of the new demands the child is encountering in the new institution are new ideals of what are the "normal" developmental trajectory to maturity.  [which are assumed to be biological and universal but in fact are historical constructions that imply how we OUGHT to develop]
I have a clearer understanding of "socially situated development" as the use of a case study approach elaborated the developmental pathway of a single child . As a counsellor who works in a similar institutional structure it will give me an added lens through which to understand the conflicts and struggles of many students in the school system.
I would like to make more explicit what is implied in the article when discussing the analysis section of the article. Data were examined using the cultural-historical concepts of transitions,demands, and conflicts across institutional structures. Also various interactional patterns within particular institutions are elaborated.
In the family were particular COMMUNICATION patterns [simultaneous patterns of communicating, machine gun fire communication, geographical roaming [as communication]
In the school were different COMMUNICATION patterns which included [successive structures of communication, alternating attention management, geographical scanning to communicate, and strategic positioning to communicate.]
The schools communicational patterning can be categotrized as an INDIVIDUALISTIC orientation.
What I want to highlight is the underlying MOTIVATION within the child in BOTH the family and school structures. All the interactional patterns are described as patterns of communication.  However I suggest the motivation to communicate in all situations was the intention to STAY CONNECTED to the significant OTHERS within the institutions occupied by the child.  At home the mother was a "helicopter mom" doing more than making sure the children were safe. She was actively RECOGNIZING and validating the children and encouraging their INTENTIONAL RESPONSE in the motivation to stay CONNECTED [intersubjectively]
The terms "activity" "participation" "affordances" "practices" "communication" while accurate and definitely capturing [and foregrounding] the STRUCTURAL aspects of the institutional arrangements leaves the dialogical imperative of ongoing engagement [of the child's relation with the mother] [and the child's relation with the teacher] in the background while emphasizing the institutional structures that constrain and facilitate this INTERSUBJECTIVE COMMUNICATION.
In the article the centrality of communication is made explicit but it is expressed from a third person perspective as the researchers OBSERVE the behavior of the child with others.  The conflict generated in the transition from one way of facilitating communication to another institution is brilliantly elaborated in this article.  I hope to see many more articles which explore how multiple institutions create crisis and opportunities for development.
However I would like to recommend we don't loose sight of the "communication structures" as often [and I would suggest mostly] focused on intersubjective motivation for RECOGNITION and the motivation to RESPOND to that recognition.  This is a more specific type of communication that I think needs to be foregrounded when we analyze how different institutions facilitate engagement or withdrawal through different assumptions of subjectivity, intersubjectivity, and institutional values of how we OUGHT to interact.

----- Original Message -----
From: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
Date: Sunday, May 2, 2010 3:11 am
Subject: Re: [xmca] Fleer/Hedegaard for discussion
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>

> I have just finished reading Marilyn and Marianna's 
> excellent article. It was a great choice against strong 
> competition.
> M&M begin from a very clear conception of Vygotsky's "social 
> situation of development," and in my view, one faithful to 
> LSV's original insight. And following how they both utilise 
> and test out this concept in a single case study has very 
> much interested me. The decision to follow a single case, 
> rather than the usual method of using a survey of 100,000 
> kids and then doing mindless statistics, is very welcome, 
> because only such an approach can bring out a *concept* of 
> what is at work here.
> In particular, M&M investigate, not just the SSD of a child 
> within the system of activity constituted by the family, or 
> by the school, but specifically focus on the normal 
> situation (once over infancy) or being involved in a 
> multiplicity (in this case two) of social situations of 
> development, each with different, conflicting sets of 
> expectations being placed on the child. Plus a mutual lack 
> of understanding between the adults involved in the two 
> institutions.
> It is remarkable how the child manages to adapt to this 
> internal conflict, although it is clear that he is not 
> flourishing.
> M&M have drawn in fairly clear outline I think what the 
> concrete (conflicted) social situation of development is. 
> Doing this is a very important theoretical task. My only 
> cautious questions might be, that rather than expressing the 
> conflict manifested from participation in two different 
> institutions (family + school) in terms of *value* sets, I 
> would have thought that terms of *expectation* (and maybe 
> role definition) might give more information, maybe?? and 
> although the prose is creepily vivid in its description of 
> Andrew's social situation (all too familiar maybe?), what I 
> didn't get was very much about how Andrew conceived it. Only 
> the very keen observations about his "scanning" and 
> "roaming" activity. It is after all Andrew who is mediating 
> this complex situation. I guess research is not magic, and 
> maybe this is all that is actually evident. The observation 
> of the interface between the two institutions was good too 
> of course.
> Anyway, well done Marilyn and Marianna. Great work! and I 
> hope to see more of it. The concept of "social situation" is 
> very rich and needs to be invetigated and tested out like this.
> Andy
> mike cole wrote:
> > Folks-- I fear I may have slipped up and not sent out link for 
> the article
> > for discussion. You can go to
> > Taylor and Francis web page for MCA, but you can also obtain 
> here for now.
> > http://lchc.ucsd.edu/MCA/index.html
> > 
> > Read, learn, discuss...
> > mike
> > _______________________________________________
> > xmca mailing list
> > xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> > 
> > 
> -- 
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
> -------
> Andy Blunden http://home.mira.net/~andy/ +61 3 9380 9435 
> Skype andy.blunden
> An Interdisciplinary Theory of Activity: 
> http://www.brill.nl/scss
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