Some thoughts on re-mediation in the teaching of literacy

For one of my grad courses, I signed up to read and start discussion on the class blog about the article “A Socio-Historical Approach to Re-Mediation” by Mike Cole and Peg Griffin. Catchy title, right?

The blog is  walled off, but I was so taken with Cole and Griffin’s ideas, that I’m reposting my post here. 

Some things that caught my attention:

…I dig this, and it  throws into question the simplification of teaching and learning as they are traditionally presented in schools – “Here’s a piece. Here’s a piece. Here’s a piece. If you stick with it long enough, you might just get to the whole.”

…Cole, Griffin and I get into a disagreement here.  Then, I reminded myself they were writing in 1978, so the kind of computer re-mediation they were talking about had more to do with the basics of phonetic, piece-meal instruction than with what current computers are able to do.

Still, if you look at computer use in literacy instruction in most classrooms, you’ll find pre-packaged software that is simply an electronic version of the instruction Cole and Griffin describe.

Something to think about, though, is what those on the bleeding edge of how computers can re-mediate learning across and within disciplines, change is coming. Unfortunately, it’s also messy, so that’s going to slow down adoption.

…Yes, let’s do this…more.

…This piece hit closest to home with me. It’s part project-based learning, part funds of knowledge, part situated cognition, part Making Learning Whole.

The Questions

What do you think about the excerpts above?
What factors at various systemic levels support or prevent Cole and Griffin’s theory from being more widely implemented?
If you’re interested in reading the full article, you can find it here.

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