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Re: [xmca] On microbe and vitamin

Hi Laure,

Can I ask what it is that makes you consider that when these children are using words such as "microbe" and "vitamin" they understand these as abstract concepts? I ask because Vygotsky's position certainly ( I have chapter 5 of T&L open in front of me!) was that while what we see in young children may "appear superficially to resemble real concepts" and while they "fulfill a similar function" in solving tasks and communicating with other people, in fact in their nature, their composition, and their structure they are to abstract concepts as "an embryo to the mature organism." He writes that "to identify one with the other would be to ignore the lengthy process of development and to place an equals sign between its beginning and its final stage." The final stage, for Vygotsky, is reached only in adolescence.

Of course the fact that to you the children's understanding may *appear* like that of an adolescent or an adult actually plays an important part in the developmental process, because what it is "for others" is a necessary step towards what it becomes "for the child itself." 


On Mar 30, 2011, at 4:26 AM, Laure Kloetzer wrote:

> Dears,
> Many famous psychologists took advantage of having children to trigger ideas
> on human development. Observing our little ones, I am surprised by how
> easily very small children (2,5 and 3,5 years old) pick up abstract concepts
> as "microbe" and "vitamin" just encountered a few times in everyday parental
> discourses. Crossed with the interesting fact that small children easily
> evoque death in their games, songs and stories, I was wondering whether
> these small facts did not give some argument for a priviledged cognitive
> treatment of health- and life-related topics. Do you know if this topic has
> been the object of recent interesting works ? Thanks for sharing your
> insights on this parental observations (I have many more but most of them
> strongly evoke some Vygotskian laws...)
> Best,
> LK
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