What did Vygotsky mean when he was referring to mind? During our weekly theory meeting we as graduate students spent time reflecting on this today. We are currently reading Wertsch, Vygotsky and the Social Formation of Mind and came across two sections that took up the bulk of our conversations.
First we reflected on the choice of the word “mind” in the title. What does this mean? Is this a connection to the English translation of Vygotsky’s work Mind and Society trying to link the two books? Is it a reference to the higher mental functions of brain and thought processes together? Is it the conscience part of the individual? Is it the part of the developmental process Vygotsky was referring to that was social and not biological? We had much conversation on these questions. What are your thoughts on these questions? Our group tabled the topic for a future week.
The second major discussion point was about mediation. Can one mediate a tool? Or is a tool there to help with mediation? What is the difference in these questions? Is there a difference? After various examples, there seemed to be some agreement on the idea of three stages of tool use. These stages would progress as the individual develops high mental functions or thought processes. First would be the use of the tools and gaining a general understanding of the task. Next would be the use of the tools to further that knowledge base. And finally there would be the mediated use of the tools with new tools for new formation of knowledge. Laura gave a great example of these steps with learning about tides. What are your thoughts?