Re: Vigotsky, Rogoff, Kelly

Hemant Desai (
Fri, 19 May 1995 21:15:21 -0500 (CDT)

In response to Jim Mancuso's orecent post, which said, in closing:

> I happen to have turned to looking at the development of "emotion
> related concepts" in children -- after an eight or nine year hiatus. I am
> literally "shocked" by the tremendous amount of literature that one can now
> find on this topic, compared to what one would have found ten years ago.
> Anyone who wishes to prompt children to "understand their emotional
> life" can now approach that task with an entirely different understanding than
> was available before education experts took fully into account the proposition
> that one can best play a role in a social process when he/she has a finer
> system by which to construe the system of the other participants in the
> process.
> I would be ill-directed if I were to claim that the PCP people have
> brought about this kind of change in the direction of psychology, but I will
> insist that anyone who has worked extensively with PCP is in a sound position
> to profit from this change and the work which has resulted from that change.
> Jim Mancuso

Jim and Suzanne thanks for great posts. I would like to add to the
topic of PCP and education, and at least two issues come to mind
in implementing a constructivistic approach in the classroom.

1) Demands made by the social system, in one word: Curricula,
which as currently implemented appears designed around a framework of
hierarchically desirable skills in language, logic, and math. So, to
apply a model of discovery oriented learning, customized to suit
each preschool through middle school child, is not possible (at least
not within most of the public school systems I have seen).

Thus, the kind of idiographic "scaffolding" that a constructivistic
instructional program would need is difficult to manage in an era
of outcome based, psychometrically and sociometrically defined

2) What may be harder still, is to implement the Person as Scientist
model for teacher training because people have as yet to adopt that
as a philosophy to understand the learning process.

PCP, if taken seriously by the educatioal establishment would imply
that we revamp our college courses thoroughly to include an overall
metatheoretical emphasis in the syllabus, and also that we conduct in the
school system, action-research projects of the interdisciplinary kind.

In short, to achieve a better educational system we should train teachers
not only to become well-versed in the research literature and in methods
of instruction, but we must help the student teachers realize that
they can be educational researchers themselves as well as expert
guides in
the childrens' growth and understanding of the world.

Hemant Desai
Educational Psychology
University of Nebraska