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Re: [xmca] spontaneous concepts indeed

I wanted to come at the issue Anthony raises, 'scientific concepts during
one's everyday "alone time", from the other side: Vygotsky's conception of
formal schooling and positioning of scientific concepts within it. Michael
Cole writes in a paper about composition that he presented in 93 concerning
Vygotsky's ideas of formal schooling:
 "In proposing these developmental patterns, Vygotsky had in mind the
cultural circumstances of the kind that he considered normal and ideal for
his own time and  place, circumstances in which children began attending
school at the age of 6-7 to undergo deliberate instruction in a manner that
mediated their learning through the writing systems. He believed that
instruction is central to the productive inclusion in children's thought
processes of the scientific concepts that underpin the school curriculum.
The role of writing in the ontogeny of this stage-transformation, vis a vis
schooling, is currently widely debated."
I'm not familiar with the wide debate he refers to regarding writing, but as
far as instruction or pedagogy in formal schooling goes, I would argue that
it is being widely debated as well. If instructional method is being widely
debated and is shifting away from the 'deliberate instruction' Michael
mentions, might not that weaken Vygotsky's resolve that scientific subjects
must be taught in school. The suggestions regarding possibilities for
learning in an unschooling environment, possible changing pedagogies in
'formal' schooling, as well as the scenerios Anthony suggest all lead me to
question how clear a distinction there is between scientific and everyday

On Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 7:24 AM, Temple <tub80742@temple.edu> wrote:

> I realize some time's gone by, but the question Jody's (Joanne's) post from
> last week raises for me is this:
> Can scientific concepts develop in non-structured learning settings?  I
> mean those other than schooling, team play, church, work, etc.  How about
> from being online a lot - just surfing, playing games, or reading blogs - or
> from spending one's time at the library or bookstore alone?
> It seems to me that such scenarios blur the lines between spontaneous and
> scientific situations, so to speak.  That is, they are natural, everyday
> activities that lend themselves to repetition and reflective thinking and
> naming, where the structure of the activity itself (as opposed to a more
> experienced mentor) spurs on one's reflection, generalization, and
> "scientification" of knowledge.
> The following statement from Jody's (post sent my thoughts in this
> direction:
> > In home schooling described by Holt, certain scientific concepts could be
> learned by a child at home, driven by their loves and needs.
> Could someone point me specifically towards a richer discussion of the
> development of scientific concepts during one's everyday "alone time"?
> Thx,
> Anthony
> Sent from my iPhone
> On Apr 22, 2011, at 7:32 AM, Joanne Hyatt <jody.hyatt@gmail.com> wrote:
> > I'm only a grad student, but I'll risk a spontaneous response.
> >
> > In 1991 I had no background in education other than my own experiences.
> > However, compelled by circumstance, I home schooled my fourth grader. My
> > main thought at the time was, "Even if he only reads at home for a year,
> > he'll be better off than attending the school he is destined to be bussed
> > to." My pedagogy was inspired by John Holt's magazine "Unschooling", a
> > publication edited by Holt and filled with inspiring stories from
> families
> > following Holt's theories.
> >
> > I loved overseeing school at home, and my son and later my daughter
> thrived
> > there. However, try as I might, it was exceptionally hard to shift or
> impact
> > the approach my children took to schooling. They were already hopelessly
> > brainwashed by their few years of traditional schooling. While I hoped
> > they'd want to build a ham radio and communicate with 10-year-olds in
> > Australia, they'd see a workbook in the supermarket and ask me to buy it
> for
> > them. Also, years later, when I became a 4th grade teacher, I found it
> > impossible to create at school the environment I strove to create in my
> > home.
> >
> > Clark Aldrich, in the link Peter supplied, is a breath of fresh air, a
> more
> > modern and insightful 'Holt'. He is spot on in his diagnosis of
> traditional
> > schooling's failings and offers compelling reasons try a new approach at
> > home. However, to unschool properly, in my opinion, required a tremendous
> > amount of work on the part of parents. Today, in my community, more and
> more
> > parents are choosing to home school, mostly out of desperation and
> > frustration with the school systems, but they lack the time and energy to
> > follow up on Aldrich's compelling implications of what might compromise
> > unschooling.
> >
> > I just finished reading Vygotsky's Thinking and Speech. Admittedly a
> novice,
> > as I read, I kept looking for more references to a child's learning from
> > their own experiences. Vygotsky's notion of scientific and everyday
> concepts
> > seemed defined more by an instructional pedagogy than by content. He
> seemed
> > to discount the idea that a child could develop an interest and pursue it
> > successfully on their own.  He refers to formal schooling, as he knows
> it,
> > as a given, an unchanging institution, and the trick is to figure out how
> > children are developing there. The concept that many children might learn
> > outside of such an institution in different ways was absent.  "Schools
> are
> > teaching too many children too many things that don’t excite them and
> have
> > no relevance to what they need or love... says Aldrich." In home
> schooling
> > described by Holt, certain scientific concepts could be learned by a
> child
> > at home, driven by their loves and needs.
> >
> > It seems that today we are trying to reinvent the institution of formal
> > schooling; how would that affect both Vygotsky's teacher or expert in the
> > ZPD as well as his distinction between scientific and everyday concepts?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > On Fri, Apr 22, 2011 at 6:04 AM, Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu>
> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >>
> http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2011/04/22/unschooling-homeschooling-
> >> without-the-school/?cxntfid=blogs_get_schooled_blog
> >>
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