The microgenesis of learning ecologies: Tsotsil Mayan children as agents of their own learning processes through initiative and cooperation
Poster in a Structured Poster Session (SPS)
1:30 PM, Tuesday 29 Aug 2017 (2 hours)
Afternoon Refreshments 03:30 PM to 03:50 PM (20 minutes)
Convention Center - 2000 A
This presentation documents the microgenesis of Mayan children’s initiatives in creating learning ecologies as they engage in culturally relevant endeavors of family and community life. I approach learning ecologies as a socioecological system where participants mutually influence one another through verbal and nonverbal actions, as well as through other forms of semiotic communication. To this end, I carry out a fine-grained ethnographic and multimodal analysis to examine children's agentive roles in learning through “cooperative actions” and “hands-on” experience the skills of competent members of their community. To this end, I examine three distinct Learning Ecologies where children play different roles according to their: (i) competence in the task, (ii) requested guidance, (iii) monitoring, and (iv) guidance from a competent member of the family. I argue that the analysis of initiative in LOPI is enriched and empowered by taking a fine look at talk, gesture, participants’ sociospatial organization, objects, tools, and other culturally relevant materials brought together to build action in situated learning activities. The study is rooted in three decades of anthropological and linguistic research among the Tsotsil Mayans of Zinacantán, Chiapas, México.