Contexts for Learning: Sociocultural Dynamics in Children's Development

By Ellice A. Forman; Norris Minick et al. | Go to book overview

noncomputer solutions, authoring components, and option keys to be functional in educational polilogues, educators need opportunities to consider the ways computers can participate in educational contexts. Authoring choices and options could even serve as a part of a context for studying the variations that exist among educational theories and practices as well as among and within populations of children. Courses focusing on educational philosophy or teacher-student interaction may be more appropriate for such preparation than separate courses dealing with computer use.

In this phase of our work with The Pond, it might be said that we missed the "bull's-eye" context for education: Face-to-face interactions with children were referred to only fleetingly. We have concentrated here on another context; it cannot be related to the contexts with children as larger or smaller or before or after but as coexisting and mutually interdependent. The problem of locating the necessary and sufficient constituents of a context is not just the puzzle for scholars that we described above; it is a practical problem derived from the essentially dynamic nature of contexts. As members of a context go about conducting overt business as well as constituting the context, there are opportunities and necessities for them to recognize the impact of "hidden members" that appear to be intruders from overarching, coexisting, prior, or expected contexts. Thus do contexts grow, as our senses grow within them.


Notes

The Velikhov-Hamburg (also known as Velham or Vega) collective officially began in October 1986 with participants from the Soviet Union and the United States, coordinated by Alexandra Belyaeva and Michael Cole. Since then the Soviet Union has been dissolved. The project continued as a joint project with Russia because the work has always taken place at research laboratories, schools, and children's centers located in Russia, although researchers in the project, originally affiliated with Soviet national institutions, come from other parts of the Commonwealth of Independent States ( Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Kazakhstan). Most likely, some of those who have made up Velham at different times would not agree with some of the contents of this chapter. The roster of Velham members most associated with this particular sub-project, in addition to the three authors, are Alfred Alamazyan, Gail Arita, Bertram Bruce, Valerie Crawford, Michael Cole, Judy Diamondstone, Derek Edwards, Lusia Gaidar, Miroslav Koshelyuk, Melissa Lemons, Vladas Leonas, Sarah Michaels, Leonid Milgram, Richard Ricard, Valerij Rudenko, Vladimir Rubtsov, and Martha tum Suden. Special thanks for cooperating in this phase of the work go to Marge Kosel and Michael Fish of Sunburst Communications, Incorporated, as well as to the institutions that have supported the effort, The Carnegie Corporation of New York and The International Fund of Moscow. The material herein is based on a paper presented at the American Educational Research Association 1989 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, March 28, in Part 2 of the Division C Symposium: Extending Vygotskian Theory.

1.
Contemporary scholars known as "postmodernists" or "deconstructionists" would debate the analogy to an "edifice," arguing against an analyst having any

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