Developing fluency versus conceptual change
In their contribution to this volume, Wertsch and Kazak turn to a theoretical tradition they trace to Vygotsky, as well as to the lesser-known Gustavovich Shpet. They argue that, viewed from the perspective of Vygotsky and Shpet, the goal of science instruction is to help students become fluent users of a sign system. From this point of view, instruction requires a sort of bootstrapping, in which students move from having little ability to use a sign system, to becoming fluent users of that sign system. In this commentary, I contrast the view of science learning outlined by Wertsch and Kazak with what I refer to as the conceptual change perspective. Based on this contrast, I argue that Wertsch and Kazak systematically underestimate what students know, as well as how much intersubjective overlap there is between student and instructor.
Sherin, B. (2011)., Developing fluency versus conceptual change, in T. Koschmann (ed.), Theories of learning and studies of instructional practice, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 189-200.
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