Playful and mindful interactions in the recursive adaptations of the zone of proximal development: a critical complexity science approach


We discuss Konstantinos Alexakos, Jayson Jones and Victor Rodriguez’s hermeneutic study of formation and function of kinship-like relationships among inner city male students of color in a college physics classroom. From our Critical Complexity Science framework we first discuss the reading erlebnisse of students laughing at and with each other as something that immediately captured our attention in being transformative of the classroom. We continue by exploring their classroom and research experience as an emergent structure modifying their collective as well as their individual experiences. As we analyze both the classroom and the research space as a complex system, we reflect on the instructor/students interactions characterized by an asymmetrical “power” relationship. From our analysis we propose to consider the zone of proximal development as the constantly emerging and transforming person experience (erlebnisse and erfahrung).

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Correspondence to Federica Raia.

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This paper addresses issues raised by Konstantinos Alexakos, Jayson K. Jones and Victor H. Rodriguez in fictive kinship as it mediates learning, resiliency, perseverance, and social learning of inner-city high school students of color in a college physics class. Cultural Studies of Science Education (doi:10.1007/s11422-011-9317-7).

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Raia, F., Deng, M.C. Playful and mindful interactions in the recursive adaptations of the zone of proximal development: a critical complexity science approach. Cult Stud of Sci Educ 6, 903 (2011).

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  • Agency
  • Mindful interactions
  • Complexity
  • Self-organization
  • Emergence