In trying to understand the development inherent in this sequence of story retellings, the metaphor of apprenticeship has been useful because it has helped us focus on the mechanisms by which both the knowledge and the responsibility for language use were transferred from the parent/expert to the child/novice. We have identified a number of strategies adopted by each participant that not only allow Seth to participate at a previously established level, but also help him advance his level a notch. We have looked at these strategies in two ways: how they function for the individual and how they interact in complementary ways to promote development.
The data presented here involve a fairly young child in a fairly complex task over quite a long time span. They show us an interactive routine that, on the whole, functions quite smoothly. (The repair situations we have seen show some of the times where it goes awry.) In this situation it has been relatively easy to isolate transfer mechanisms that seem to function effectively for this dyad. It now remains to look for these same kinds of mechanisms, and the interactions thereof, in different kinds of developmental situations.
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