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RE: [xmca] Taking culture into account/Doing harm?

good morning, Mike, and everyone else who've read both the Lave article and the Richardson article - 

from my perspective, the Richardson article is a good example of Lave's call to be will to take a political stance in one's work.

i understand Richardson's critique as being both intercultural as well as intracultural - intercultural as his cultural heritage is one that has been oppressed to a near point of extinction by we european-rooted colonizers, and he is calling attention to the historical and present day fact that our european based epistemologies marginalize at best, while usually attempting to erase Indigenous epistemologies.  furthermore, ironically, the very tools of multicultural education result more in enclosure of Indigenous epistemologies rather than inclusion. 

on the other-hand, Richardson's critique is also intracultural so far as he is a fellow academic using multiple academic cultural tools of argumentative discourse to press his point.

what strikes me thus far is that it appears that rather than engaging in his critique, we've veered off (my perception) into the morality of inter-intra-cultural critique.

i think that Richardson is putting forth epistemologies that i can barely wrap my head around: "sharing a spirit"; "shadow memories and imagination are foundational to rational thinking"; "shimmers of imagination are reason"; "shadow relations in visionary narratives", etc.  part of my mind rebels against what i think of as - i can't find the right word at this moment.  but it's akin to transubstantiation.

at the same time, Richardson's work calls into question the genealogy of CHAT is that part of its roots are in marxist communism, a theory that assumes that communism is the way, truth and light for the organization of human activities.  Wertsch demonstrates this quite clearly in his research in Estonia, in which Estonians being educated within the russian hegemony of soviet history, learned the language structures to be repeated as a kind of catechism in order to do well at school, all the while learning cultural "truths" at home about Estonian history.  (it is of the greatest irony that within the three baltic nations that now russians are utilizing the language structure of victimhood, all the while denying the history of russian oppression.  but, american history as understood by most americans has little understanding of american oppression.)

i think that one of our shared cultural practices as academics is that we want to demonstrate what we do know, and become deeply hesitant to discuss areas in which we're pretty ignorant.  this is my take on why from my point of view it's been so difficult to tackle Richardson's primary argument - which is that historically, our practices as americans has been the eradication of Indigenous epistemologies, though we're perfectly happy to display their cultural artifacts in our museums.

i would think that those of you from any part of the world that's been colonized even if your roots are those of the colonizers should be able to recognize.

and, in the immortal words of Eugene, "What do you think?"


Phillip White, PhD
Urban Community Teacher Education Program
School of Education & Human Development
University of Colorado Denver
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of mike cole [lchcmike@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, July 22, 2012 10:15 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture,Activity
Subject: [xmca] Taking culture into account/Doing harm?

The attached article has been hanging around my desktop for some time now.
is critical of people like myself who had sought ways in ways to assist
kids from
non-mainstream cultural communities when they encounter standard schooling.

At least one of the shoes provided seems to fit. Seems worth reflecting on
the critique
as a whole.

Anyone interested?

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