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Transcript of Scaffolding Stories
And then also I grew up hearing the coolest stories from my dad and his best friend about, just, their growing up experiences as boys. And I just – I love to tell stories, and I love to hear stories, and it is just so neat to be able to think about how you want a story to sound and then to put it into words on a paper, to type it out, to think it through, um, just that it’s so neat and fulfilling and you just feel so accomplished when you’ve gotten it down and then you can share it with people. That’s what’s so cool about it. That’s actually what I’m doing my thesis on, is a non-fiction, memoir-type project where I’m kind of telling my childhood stories because I know one day if I have kids those are stories they’re gonna want to know too. So I guess that’s it. (clicking to next slide continues the main text of the article) Transcript of Beth Monroe Video (clicking to next slide continues the main text of the article) Beth begins her story with a smile and a statement: “I’ve always loved to read and tell stories.” She asserts that her love of reading is a “big factor” in her “loving to write and being here as a graduate student studying writing.” She hearkens back to what she recalls or thinks she recalls as her pre-school days: An adult, Beth’s grandfather, demonstrates a competence that Beth, the child, wants: “He would really read to me, and, um, one day I remember saying, ‘Papaw, I want to read . . .’” This shared time seems to be a form of companionship, and of “play” for the pair. This situation bears out Ferholt and Lecusay's (2010) idea that “. . . a child’s world is as real as our own, and play is the activity that creates the zone of proximal development for a child” (p. 59). Beth continues: Beth and her grandfather are involved in a “joint but necessarily unequal engagement in a valued activity” (Stone, 1998, p. 352) when he challenges Beth with the serious question of whether she is decoding or only remembering. Scaffolding is instantiated, as Wood, Bruner, and Ross explain, when “the active, initiating child stays in control of the language and the experience while the adult operates effectively in response to the child” (quoted in Searle, 1984, p. 481). In this “ZPD...event” (Mercer and Fisher, 1992, p.342), Beth has a turning point: Bruner called such a turning point “agentive” (1991, p.73). Beth’s grandfather seems to be what Belenky et al (1986) have called a “midwife teacher.” These scholars note that “midwife teachers assist in the emergence of consciousness…and foster the child’s growth” (p. 218). As Belenky and her colleagues put it, “Midwife teachers focus not on their own knowledge...but on the student’s knowledge ... Midwife teachers help students deliver their words to the world” (p. 219). The event that Beth describes supports Bruner and Ratner’s notion that scaffolding includes, “a familiar semantic domain, predictable structures, role reversibility, variability, and playfulness” (quoted in Searle, 1984, p. 480). Beth’s scene is “familiar”: she has apparently memorized the stories. There is a “predictable” structure: “every day . . . we would always read books together.” She initiates a “role reversal”: “Papaw, I want to read...” Beth’s literacy narrative now takes a turn back to stories, and perhaps to identity – who she comes from, who she is, and who she will become: “And then I also grew up hearing the coolest stories from my dad and his best friend about, just, their growing up experiences as boys.” Rossiter and Clark (2007) speak of the “powerful influence” of family stories and have noted that “stories impart to learners fundamental knowledge of the culture, its history, and values” (p. 72). They have also found significance in “…the power inherent within the structure of narrative, the choice of language, the very way things are said and not said” (p. 8). Beth relates how growing up hearing her dad’s stories told, she has become herself a storyteller – and a writer: Included in Beth’s brief narrative are three generations and two important subjects – learning to read and desiring to tell, write, and share family stories. We can conclude with a few words from Sam Keen and Anne Valley Fox (1989), who seem to elucidate Beth’s desire to write and share her stories: …cultural and family myth comes to rest on the individual. Each person is a repository of stories. To the degree that any of us reaches toward autonomy, we must begin a process of sorting through…what we’ve been given…We gain the full dignity and power of our persons only when we create a narrative account of our lives, dramatize our existence, and forge a coherent personal myth with unique stories that come from our experience. (p. xiv) Narrative Three Mario Davis (clicking to next slide continues the main text of the article) Transcript of Mario Davis Video I know most people are talking about how difficult it was to learn to read, but mine is more about mathematics. My father died young; my mother had three kid to raise by herself. So it was a big burden on her to work and take care of us three kids at the same time and to help us with our homework.
She put me in a Spanish-American learning center called Emerson Silk. To this day I think that was one of the best choices she made for my life. But at that time, it was focused on teaching Latin kids how to speak English, and English speaking kids to speak Spanish. I don’t regret learning Spanish; I can still speak it pretty well, but it took time away from me learning mathematics. I could add, I could even multiply at an early age, but what was hurting me was division, that was holding me back, causing me to be frustrated.
At the same time, because of my father passing away, I had no male or father figure to guide me or hold me back from doing wrong. I was causing a lot of trouble in class. So I got frustrated, and my mom got called up to the school at lot. Sometimes she came every day. I was nine or ten, and it was embarrassing. She was trying to understand why I was having trouble with math. She only had a high school education.
I understood adding and multiplication, but I couldn’t grasp subtraction and division. I could only grasp it if I saw it. Well, one teacher, her name was Miss Lee. She would always threaten me when I would act a fool in class. She’d say, “You know I’m going to call your momma.” That kinda kept me in check. And I felt I could talk to Miss Lee more. She took me personally under her wing. She sat with me until she taught me how to divide. Other teachers had tried and failed, but it seemed they had no patience with me. But she sat there until I got it and I got it without realizing how I got it. She embedded it in my mind some way. It was like my mind was a sponge suddenly filled with water or something.
Once I learned how to divide, I thought about math all the time. I wanted to learn all of it. While everyone else was learning Spanish and geology and writing, I was thinking about math.
I remember riding in a car and adding up the totals of the numbers on licenses plates. If a license plate had letters, I’d convert the letters to numbers and add them up too. I was fascinated by my ability. It’s like somebody who was illiterate finally learning how to read and then wanting to read every book there is in the world.
North Minneapolis in ’95, ’96 was real bad: gang violence, drugs. It was the second wave of the cocain era of the eighties. I did have a strong mother, but there were other strong women in our neighborhood: the nuns at the Visitation Monastery. My mother would send us there every day after school. They would tutor us kids. When it was time for us to come over, they would hang a windsock outside their house. They even took me to Jamaica one time. And they paid for me to go to a private high school: DeLaSalle. They would bring the college students in to work with us on our homework. One of the college students was a math major. He would bring his Math Works with him and try to teach it to us. None of the other children could understand him, but once he started teaching it to me, I didn’t want to stop learning. It got to the point that I had gone through all the Math Works that he had. When I got to high school, high school algebra was like a refresher.
My success with and my love for math was about the dedication of my teachers and being tutored by people older than me. I learned that when you have something you want to achieve, once you have achieved that, you want to reach every other goal. Mario’s literacy story, we contend, supports Searle’s argument that Bruner’s “scaffolding” has sometimes been misused by well-meaning educators. Searle reminds us that the original idea of the “zone of proximal development,” in order to be useful to teachers, must be understood this way: the would-be mentor must begin where the student is, and the learning event must be motivated by a desire to learn that originates in the learner. Mario’s story is filled with references to his desire to learn math. Sometimes he refers to pain and frustration. Mario remembers how he sometimes experienced the joy of learning and how he reveled in his new-found competence. At this point in his narrative, Mario is ready for someone to come along who understands (if only intuitively) the importance of “scaffolding” and the underlying principle of the “ZPD.” Mario describes two instances when someone helped him acheive a goal that he felt was his own. Instance one: Miss Lee at Emerson Silk School Assuming Miss Lee’s inner-city classroom is typical, she no doubt works with a large number of children throughout the day. But she sits Mario down and says, “You know I’ll call your mother if you don’t stop acting out!” Miss Lee asserts her power as a teacher. But then, using Mario's interest in math and his mastery of multiplication that she knows he is proud of as a base from which to work, she stays with him until he “gets” it, until he understand how to divide numbers. Bruner says, “In such instances mothers most often see their role as supporting the child in achieving an intended outcome, entering only to assist or reciprocate or 'scaffold' the action” (1975, p. 12). Miss Lee has to enter the dialogue by using her power asymmetrically to get him to calm down, but she knows that he wants to understand division. Her role is to support him in achieving this outcome. She is “operating effectively in response to the child” (Searle p. 480). As Mario confirms, Learning math is a goal that Mario feels is his own. He remembers that he was “…like somebody who was illiterate finally learning how to read and wanting to read every novel there is in the world.” Instance two: The College Student Tutor at The Visitation Monastery Mario relates that the nuns from the Visitation Monastery (whom, he tells us, were “strong women” like his mother) brought in college students to tutor the neighborhood kids after school. We don't know whether this college-age tutor was an intuitive or an intentional practitioner of scaffolding and the ZPD. Mario, however, notes how effective this teacher was, remarking, “It got to the point that I had gone through all the Math Works that he had. When I got to high school, algebra was like a refresher.” Searle says, “Too often the teacher is the builder and the child is expected to accept and occupy a predetermined structure” (p. 482). But in both cases that Mario reports, the teachers who collaborated with him built upon his avidity for math: Miss Lee worked from the sense of achievement he felt from mastering his multiplication tables to help him achieve something (mastery of the techniques of division) that he rather desperately wanted to achieve. It was Mario’s need, not hers. And the tutor at the Visitation Monastery got him started, handed him the workbooks, and got out of his way so he could achieve a learning goal that he identified as important. Both also served as adult models. Both teachers provided what Ferholt and Lecusay describe as “unidirectional development of a child toward an adult model.” Mario is now a college student (and tutor) himself. At the time he describes in his story, he could imagine himself being like these two teachers. In the time since these events occurred, he has become like them. Ironically, this may be the outcome desired by those whom Searle describes as misapplying the idea of scaffolding. (p. 480) Their error, he implies, is in believing that they can teach their students what they want them to know rather than building (scaffolding) on what the students want to know. The mature Mario closes his interview with this reflection: Nar Four ra tive Drew Stephens I guess my literacy story would be about my first grade teacher, Ms. Paul, in Malvern Arkansas. I started school in 1984 or 85, I believe, so I went to kindergarten. And at that tim--nowadays kids learn how to read in kindergarten it's amazing what they learn--but when I was in kindergarten, it was just okay here are your colors you can count to 50 and play in the sand that's you know your passed that your of your life.
I was always kind of different as a child maybe ADD. I don't know what my problem was, but I had a hard time staying on task or doing things structured-wise, but kindergarten was fine because it was all play. When I got in first grade, I remember the second or third day of class I had sat down next to this girl named Brittany. I believe we're just going, the teacher was going so far past anything I knew I could handle, and I immediately started just looking off her paper and trying to figure out how to do all this stuff and just copying what she had because I didn't really understand it.
And my teacher Ms. Paul at the time she immediately saw what was going on, and she got me and moved me out to the other side of the class were I couldn't just copy off this girl from then on forward. I don't know what would have happened if that had continued.
But she had a system of learning how to read that was really unique I think even for the school system at the time. She had this big board with the letters on it and the sounds that groupings of letters made, and she had a large stick and she would stand up in front of the class, and she would point to these letters, and we all had to stand up. It was like a physical thing where we had to move as we learned, as we learned these letters, and as we learned these words, and sentence structure and things like that. And it was so foreign to anything I had ever learned before because I wasn't sitting at a desk and I wasn't you know saying okay memorize these things and figure out how to do it. It was an active—kind of kinetic—kind of thing. I don't know, maybe some people learn more when they're moving.
But that really helped me learn how to read, and it was crazy because that year I did great and learned an amazing amount about how to read. And we were all tested at the end of the year. I started the first grade not knowing anything about learning how to read. And at the end of the first grade they tested us all and I tested at reading at like an eighth-grade level.
It was an amazing transformation for me.
And I don't think ... it really set me on a course that changed the rest of my life. And I think if I got any other teacher who was there, you know I probably would've learned how to read, but it would have been different. And you know it wouldn't have gone as well. But since then, of course, I was terrible and have been terrible in math.
But reading, writing learning how to express myself in words that you know one person sent me on a course to completely do something different with my life, and I have Ms Paul to thank for that. (clicking to next slide continues the main text of the article) Transcript of Drew Stephens Video In his article "Self-Making and World-Making," Jerome Bruner (1991) observed that autobiography serves a "dual function." When we tell our stories, "we wish to present ourselves to others (and to ourselves) as typical or characteristic or 'culture confirming' in some way. That is to say our intentional states and actions are comprehensible in the light of the 'folk psychology' that is intrinsic in our culture" (p. 71). At the same time, we try "to assure individuality..., we focus upon what, in the light of some folk psychology, is exceptional (and, therefore, worthy of "telling") in our lives (p. 71). In paying tribute to his first-grade teacher, Ms. Paul, Drew Stephens sketches for us a ZPD successfully realized when he shows how a special curriculum, a "system of learning how to read that was really unique . . . even for the school system at the time" helped him deal with his "problem." As he tells his story, he self-identifies with attention deficit disorder (ADD), a construct that has become part of our folk psychology in the past couple of decades. Drew begins by describing himself as he might have at the time the events he narrates took place. He says, "I was always kind of different," and "I had a hard time staying on task or doing things structured-wise." Within the same long utterance, however, he suggests that he plans to position himself within the narrative as someone with an obstacle to overcome or challenge to face: "maybe [I had] ADD." Whether or not Drew had enough of the symptoms of ADD—now described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV Text Revision) as one of the three types of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—to be formally diagnosed, he seems to think that introducing the term ADD will help the audience understand his situation. And with good reason: ADD and ADHD have recently moved into common parlance during recent decades. Since the time Drew was in elementary school, attention-related disorders have generated a good deal of conversation, both in and outside the medical community. According to a CDC study, Diagnosis of ADHD increased an average of 3% per year from 1997 to 2006 (Pastor & Reuben, 2008, p. 3). The Urban Dictionary, a popular website that allows users to contribute definitions of words-in-use (i.e., slang or connotations), has a number of entries for ADD and ADHD, ranging from the clinical: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is the only clinically diagnosed term for disorders characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity used in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, Fourth Edition. ("Urban Dictionary: add," n.d.) to the cynical: A disease every kid these days claims they have. ("Urban Dictionary: add," n.d.) ("Urban Dictionary: add," n.d.) Drew spends an idyllic year in kindergarten where all he remembers doing is coloring, playing, and learning to count to fifty. When he reaches first grade, though, he begins to see himself as different from the other children. Drew intuited that he was missing something when it came to the classroom lessons and he admitted that he felt the teacher "was going so far past anything I knew I could handle," indicating that he felt a little panicked about his lack of understanding. We can also see, however, that Drew wanted to do well in school because, rather than act out or refuse to work, he tried to leverage the work of a more capable peer, Brittany, in order to accomplish the task Ms. Paul set for the children. Rather than seeing Drew as short circuiting the learning process by "just copying what [Brittany] had because [he] really didn't understand it," we might see Drew, who by his own admission has had very little literacy experience in kindergarten, trying to engage in what Karen Wohlwend (2007) called an "early literacy apprenticeship" (p. 378). In writing about her observations of kindergarteners "playing school" (p. 378), Wohlwend suggested that: as children acquire foregrounded literacy practices, they also acquire the community’s backgrounded ways of talking, handling materials, and positioning selves and others that are expected to accompany reading, writing, drawing, playing, or other message-producing activity. (p. 378) On only his second or third day of first grade, Drew is somewhat like the students in Wohlwend's study who, while on the cusp of being able to read and write, engage in play that is informed by the activity of literate individuals in their community. Drew describes himself as trying to "figure out how to do all this stuff," and notes that he used Brittany as his literate model. However, the first-grade curriculum demanded more from students like Drew than pre-literate play activities. With one action, Ms. Paul adjusts the task environment so it becomes clear to Drew that the goal of classroom activity is not just the production of marks on a page, achieved by whatever means possible. Interestingly, Drew recalls this as a physical intervention, rather than recounting anything Ms. Paul said to him: "She immediately saw what was going on and she got me and moved me out to the other side of the class where I couldn't just copy off this girl from then on forward." This movement is the beginning of Drew's work in a ZPD where he will gradually gain competence and will learn to read and write without direct reliance on a peer. Looking back, he frames this separation from Brittany as key to his "amazing transformation": "I don't know what would have happened if [the copying off Brittany] had continued." Building, then, on this theme of physical intervention, Drew explains how the ZPD that Ms. Paul worked to create with her students seemed to be a particularly good fit for him, at his particular developmental level and with his own brand of restless disposition. As he tells us about Ms. Paul's "big board with the letters on it and the sounds that groupings of letters made" and how she would point at letters and have the children stand and move as they "learned these letters . . . , words, and sentence structure," Drew moves his body, turning to the left and right, perhaps echoing the motions he went through in class. For Drew, work where he "wasn't sitting at a desk" and wasn't only "memorizing" things enabled him to learn not only how to read but also, by the end of the school year, how to be "reading at like an eighth-grade level." We see through this narrative that, as Bruner (1991) suggested, "What makes for something 'interesting' is invariably a 'theory' or 'story' that runs counter to expectancy or produces an outcome counter to expectancy" (pp. 71-72). Drew sets himself up as someone who has a disposition ("maybe ADD") that makes school learning, as it is traditionally enacted ("sitting at a desk") difficult. "Expectancy," as Bruner pointed out, "is controlled by the implicit folk psychology that prevails in the culture" (p. 72). Drew probably understands that his use of the term ADD will make some in his audience take a more cynical stance toward his narrative, much like the person who published the second definition from Urban Dictionary cited above. They may have expected that the story would be one about seeking medical help, through a prescription of Ritalin or other drug to help with his difficulty. Such is not the case. Drew's story also meets Bruner's "criterion of tellability" by violating canonical expectancy. And, as Bruner suggested, Drew's story does so in a way that his audience can understand (i.e., that is "culturally comprehensible") because his narrative tells of overcoming obstacles with the help of a great teacher, a story that is, itself, part of the folk-psychological canon (p. 72). In addition, the narrative reinforces another concept that has made its way into folk psychology during the past fifteen years: the idea of multiple learning styles or preferences for different modes of expression (e.g., video, audio, alphabetic text, kinesthetic learning, etc.). Common wisdom now recognizes teaching interventions that take advantage of students' preferences in modes besides reading and writing instead of pharmacological treatments for some cases of attention disorders. For example, Ricki Linksman (2007) has pointed out that a number of the students she sees at the National Reading Diagnostics Institute: have received a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Yet in-depth reading evaluations of these youngsters often reveal that rather than having an attention disorder, they are simply kinesthetic learners they need to engage in gross motor (large-muscle) activity to learn best. Once they are given the opportunity to learn through the proper methods, their ADHD-like behavior often disappears. In telling his narrative, Drew perhaps unknowingly appropriates some of the vocabulary from the Neil Fleming's visual, auditory, reading/writing, kinesthetic/tactile (VARK) model of learning preferences (which informs Linksman's observation above) when he describes the activity in Ms. Paul's classroom (Fleming & Mills, 1992). Drew remembers, "It was an active—kind of kinetic—kind of thing," and he goes on to reflect that "maybe some people learn more when they're moving." He obviously believes that he was one of these people in first grade and attributes his success to a ZPD and an instructional intervention that "fit" or "worked" when conventional means (i.e., the district's official curriculum) might not have. "The objective of narrative," argued Bruner (1991), "is to demystify deviations. Narrative solves no problems. It simply locates them in such a way as to make them comprehensible" (p. 72). In this exhibit, we've attempted a cultural-historical approach to DALN narratives as locations in which we can come to understand how people talk about learning. In exploring the case-study narratives, we've tried to complicate the widely researched and applied educational metaphor of scaffolding by interpreting stories about learning told by four individuals who related experiences involving zones of proximal development. Etienne Wenger (1999) theorizes learning in terms of trajectories, a constant becoming or movement that has "coherence through time that connects past, present, and future" (p. 154). These trajectories, he argues, "provide a context in which to determine what, among all the things that are potentially significant, actually becomes significant learning. A sense of trajectory gives us ways of sorting out what matters and what does not, what contributes to our identity and what remains marginal" (p. 155). One important contribution of the DALN, then, to educational research is that it provides a database of accounts that help us explore how teachers and learners interact to produce memorable (and in retrospect, important) pedagogical experiences. People tell about what they have come to regard as significant learning, considering the trajectories their lives have taken. Much of the research on the ZPD and scaffolding doesn't allow for this type of longitudinal retrospective sense-making on the part of learners. Finally, we feel the DALN offers an opportunity to see the ideas of scaffolding and the ZPD in all their beautiful complexity. Scaffolding Stories Conclusion Table of Contents Introduction ZPD and Scaffolding as Metaphors How the DALN Helps Address Criticisms of Scaffolding Methods Narrative One: Chris Dole Narrative Three: Mario Davis Narrative Two: Beth Monroe Narrative Four: Drew Stephens David Fisher Joseph J. Williams Sally Crisp Greg Graham Huey Crisp ...the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving... These are not minor critiques, but in spite of them, we think the metaphor is worth pursuing. To begin with, we hold with Stone (1998) that in abandoning the scaffolding metaphor completely we risk disconnecting ourselves from the rich history of discussion about "how adults aid in children's learning and development" (p. 351). In addition, we also risk abandoning a metaphor that "highlights one of the key features of children's learning: namely that it is often guided by others who strive (explicitly or implicitly) to structure learning opportunities" (p. 351). Stone goes on to suggest that we must "enrich" and "refine" the metaphor to address the criticisms we have listed: "In particular, it needs to be invigorated with a much more explicit theory of the mechanisms involved in the instilling of new understandings" (p. 352). We suggest that the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN) can serve as a substrate for building this theory because it provides a database of accounts of learning in context. The authoring team for this exhibit selected from a group of 46 narratives we had gathered at a Literacy Narrative event at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) on April 28, 2010. We chose only from the narratives we collected during 2010 because each of these narratives was initiated by the same question: "Would you share with us a story about reading and/or writing in your life or how you learned to read or write?" If narrators pressed interviewers for ideas, the interviewers were instructed to provide guidance in the form of additional questions like: "How did learning to read and write change your life?" "Who had the biggest impact on your learning to read or write and why?" "What was the biggest challenge you faced when it came to learning to read or write?" Generally, interviewers did not intervene in the narrators' stories, but did follow up each story with a single question: "Can you think of anything else you would like to add?" Key to this line of questioning was the term "learning." By including this term in the question, we hoped to gather stories that evoked scenarios involving learning interactions taking place in a ZPD. From the 46 narratives, we narrowed the field to only those in which the narrator spoke about interacting with someone else during the process of learning to read or write. We then separated this group into three categories based on the physical location in which the interaction took place: "home," "school," or "both." The "both" category contained stories of people developing literacy first at home and then continuing at school or stories about the relationship between learning at home and learning at school. We selected at least one narrative from each group that we viewed as having representative features of the category, yet at the same time providing enough detail about the interaction between the two people engaged in the ZPD to enable a relatively detailed analysis. Our exhibit consists of the following narratives: 1. Chris Dole seeks to create a learning environment for his son by using a method (technique) called Writing Road to Reading (WRTR) (home).
2. Beth Monroe learns to read after listening to and telling stories with her grandfather (home).
3. Mario Davis learns math, which piques his interest in school and keeps him out of trouble (both).
4. Drew Stephens overcomes what he believes might have been ADHD with the help of his teacher's unconventional methods (school). References http://daln.osu.edu/handle/2374.DALN/1462 http://daln.osu.edu/handle/2374.DALN/1448 Beth Monroe http://daln.osu.edu/handle/2374.DALN/1447 http://daln.osu.edu/handle/2374.DALN/1454 And while we agree with Bruner that "narrative solves no problems," we also believe that examining the DALN can help us enrich the scaffolding metaphor and facilitate understanding about how context impacts learning experiences involving ZPDs. Returning to the words of Mercer and Fisher (1992), we hold that the ZPD "is the product of a particular, situated, pedagogical relationship" (p. 342) and that in order to understand instances of this relationship, we need to explore the specific contexts in which it develops. To that end, we forward some questions that helped inform our analysis. We hope that they will guide others who wish to use the DALN to examine and complicate an understanding of the situated nature of the ZPD. These questions cover several broad areas: Experience Differential.
Why was there an experience differential between the learners and the teachers discussed in the narratives?
Were there methods of interaction that seemed to be most effective in bridging that differential?
Was there evidence that the pedagogical relationship was collaborative?
How was the more experienced member of the dyad changed by the interaction? Access.
How/why did the more and less experienced people come together?
Was their coming together institutionally arranged?
How did this method of matching affect their construction of a significant experience?
How did a person's membership various groups (i.e., ethnic group, class, sexual orientation, gender) impact her access to a transformative pedagogical experience? Literacy and Group Membership.
Why did the people in the narrative view the acquisition of a particular literacy (i.e., reading, math, HTML, disciplinary knowledge, etc.) as important?
To what groups did acquisition of this literacy enable membership?
What sorts of relationships do these groups have with individuals who do not have this literacy?
Do literate groups provide support for entry into them? Formal teaching.
If the literate group provided formal means for teaching others, what were they?
Does the narrative identify ways in which these means were adequate or inadequate for the individual seeking to develop literacy?
In other words, does the narrative characterize how individuals leveraged or subverted existing structures to create the intensely personal learning experience that David McNamera formulates as working well in a ZPD? References