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Re: [xmca] On microbe and vitamin

Hi Martin,
I fully agree, there is a world between the use of the word and the use of
the concept, and children do not grasp them as abstract concepts. I do not
consider that these are more than embryos of abstract concepts for them, but
I observe a different kind of treatment of these kinds of our abstract
concepts compared to a full range of others. So the question is : is it
significant that these get their attention compared to others (if that is
anyway more regular than just my three or four observed cases) ? Because it
is not just the sound of the words vitamin or microbe that please them.

2011/3/30 Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu>

> 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."
> Martin
> 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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