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Katerina Polivanova 1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

An Opening Commentary on the Article Human Action and Social Groups as the Natural Home of Assessment: Thoughts on 21st Century Learning and Assessment by James Paul Gee

2013. No. 1. P. 69–72 [issue contents]

Katerina Polivanova, Psy.D., Professor in the Educational Program Department of the Institute for Educational Studies, National Research University — Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation. Email: kpolivanova@mail.ru 

The author analyzes the idea of acquiring new knowledge proposed by James Paul Gee. She summarizes the fundamental principles, follows the logics of arguments, discusses the form of expression, and draws parallels between the points in the article and Russian studies focused on the phenomena of action, game, and self-assessment.

Polivanova investigates into the notion of “identity” that Gee considers the original home of any human action, where newcomers realize their belonging to a social group and accept its appreciative systems. She discusses the problem of student identity in learning and the risks of buying into the identity of being a “good student”, instead of buying into disciplines. The identity of following the learning rules distorts motivation for cognitive activities, creating an attitude of learning to avoid sanctions instead of learning for knowledge.

Gee’s idea of self-assessment as an ultimate point of learning is analyzed in the context of the Russian theory of action. Polivanova points to the break-through nature of seeing self-assessment as a means of maintaining identity.

The commentary examines importance of the game in educational practices and relationship between knowledge and competencies. Gee’s attitude towards formal assessment is presented. Polivanova also describes Gee’s types of learning in the 19th century, which get more and more promising as new opportunities for modeling learning environments appear. 

Citation: Polivanova K. (2013) Vstupitel'nyy kommentariy k stat'e Dzheymsa Pola Dzhi «Deyatel'nost' cheloveka i sotsial'nye gruppy kak estestvennaya sreda otsenivaniya: razmyshleniya ob obuchenii i otsenke v XXI v.» [An Opening Commentary on the Article Human Action and Social Groups as the Natural Home of Assessment: Thoughts on 21st Century Learning and Assessment by James Paul Gee ]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no1, pp. 69-72.
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