ERIC Number: EJ787122
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: N/A
Reflections on J.V. Wertsch's "From Social Interaction to Higher Psychological Processes," "Human Development," 1979
Saxe, Geoffrey B.
Human Development, v51 n1 p80-89 2008
In his 1979 "Human Development" article reprinted in this anniversary issue, James Wertsch presented an approach to genetic analysis of the shifting regulation of problem-solving behavior in early childhood. In my reflections on Wertsch's seminal contribution, I discuss ways that subsequent inquiry built upon ideas he elaborated in the 1979 article, using my own work as an illustrative case. One strand of my discussion focuses on method. Wertsch's treatment involved lab-based studies, and I discuss how, in my research on early number development, I coordinated laboratory methods similar to Wertsch's with field methods. The second strand broadens the scope of Wertsch's approach to genetic analyses. Wertsch presented a compelling case for the utility of genetic analysis in investigations of the emergence of forms of problem solving. I discuss the importance of extending genetic explanation by incorporating sociogenetic analysis of the reproduction and alteration of collective systems of representation in the social history of communities. As an illustration I present my research on numerical representations used by a remote Papua New Guinea cultural group. I conclude by considering the utility of a genetic analysis of collective forms of representation and the functions these forms serve, in ontogeny as well as in social history.
Descriptors: Social History, Investigations, Interpersonal Relationship, Genetics, Foreign Countries, Problem Solving, Bayesian Statistics, Knowledge Representation, Psychological Characteristics, Methods Research, Cognitive Processes, Individual Development
S. Karger AG. Allschwilerstrasse 10, P.O. Box CH-4009, Basel, Switzerland. Tel: +41-61-306-1111; Fax: +41-61-306-1234; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.online.karger.com/journals/hde
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Papua New Guinea