- Oct 2015
Stats—published statistics on major league teams present and past—played a major role in characterizations of the game and of self for several team m
I think there is a similarity here in terms of motivation and identity with what we saw with the hurdlers. While there are a lot of goals (like fun) and things motivating the participation of the students, objective measures like "stats" always seem to play "a major role in characterization of the game and of self".
While recognizing other goals, Nasir & Cook write that "an important goal of track [...] was reducing the time it takes one to complete an event, as times were the standard measure of performance in most events."(p. 46). They then discuss many other more localized goals (academic success, social relationships, etc.) But the time seems to govern the rest.
In that example and here, it seems difficult to abandon the connection that these objective measures have on motivation and identity, even when such a strong emphasis is placed on other goals.
ithin the Little League team already described, sociodramatic play—within the ongoing play of the drama of the full season—allows the players to achieve mastery, to contrast, illustrate, and explore options. It as
These figured worlds are certainly part of everyone's upbringing -- every soccer fan has performed this "play" of kicking the winning world cup goal, every golfer has sunk the last putt to win the Masters, and every football player that game-winning touchdown.
But what I really like about the explanation here is that in the baseball it is easy to see how inhabiting these figured worlds essentially becomes a problem-solving strategy. Actually, it is kind hard to think how the coach would accomplish some of this training without it. Similar to the AA example, it is hard to see how it could, with the creation of the figured worlds through the stories of participants and the roles of each, how they'd go about accomplishing their goals.
(a) to have a good time, (b) to learn and practice teamwork and sportsmanship, and (c) to learn a little more about the game of baseball. T
The order of the goals the coach has for the kids reveals a lot about the true motivation for the team - to, above all, allow the kids to have a good time.
I think there are parallels here to the motivations of the amateur astronomers who, at the end of the day, did what they did because it was "fun":
"In practice, the fun moments of explaining [Mitchell] experienced at City and Mt Hillview Star Parties were enmeshed with preferences for socializing with friends/public, as well for reading (which appeared in his preparatory studying of the literature for details of objects that he would show the public), and made teaching astronomy a line of practice in his hobby." (p.489)
requests of the players were usually couched in terms of "How would they do this in the major leagues?" (personal communication, December 27, 1988). Fo
This type of command asks the students at least to assume the identity of a professional player, and then give their "best guess" as to what they feel the proper behavior would be.
This seems different from the kind of identity formation that we saw with LPP. Through that lens, identity shifts by moving from peripheral participation and slowly working one's way into the center; here, it seems almost the opposite: The coach tries to get them to "pretend" to be real players as much as possible, and from that assumed identity, slowly uncover attitudes and behaviors that will legitimize it
e coach characterized the efforts of the entire team, including his own, as being within the "good time" of "a fantasy world" (see team goals, team objective, and coach's premise stated earlier). He shaped and reshaped this world and allowed it to expand greatly the types of reasoning, inferencing, and action taking practiced by the boys. He marked, and encouraged the boys to mark, what they were learning from the shifts made possible in their sociodramatic plays by asking them specific sets of questions as follow-ups or lead-ins to plays. To their conditional world, the coach added rules that he then followed up with more conditionals that would lead team members to expand their understanding of various contexts that could shape outcomes of applications of rules (see "setup for conditional statement," outlined previously)
FWs and the development of a CoP through a shared knowledge and practice of "shifts" into their FW through the use of language and participation.
The models or experts to whom the boys linked their own behaviors lay beyond the coach and the vagaries of team membership; they rested in the collective knowledge of team members as they read about baseball, watched games on television, or heard them on the radio. Frequent reminders made clear who the boys were: "We're professionals," "We're card-carrying members of a group," "We're all in it together."
Drawing on the collective knowledge, their FoK to contribute to the creation of a collective identity of a group-- of "professionals."
he coach and his players referred to balls that were easy to hit or easy to catch as "marshmallows." During games, the team and the coach would remind batters to "wait for a marshmallow." Frequent use of this and other terms (e.g., " d i g " to refer to a low pitch) marked the inclusiveness of the team at games; neither their own parents nor members of the other team knew the meanings of the boys' cheers and technical terms
I think I've mentioned this earlier but the aspect of language and jargon to mark identity is common & important and I enjoy that Heath emphasizes this. It made me think of the hurdler when the coach would categorize athletes by their events & Yaheem's acceptance of specifically being a track athlete over being a football player/ general athlete.
dominant view is that the game will always get better and, as it does, so will the players. In their speech and actions, Little League baseball teams gear themselves to win.
Creation of a figured world (of baseball winners?) and CoP through language and shared view of winning?
After games or practice, on occasions when the team would go out for pizza. the boys talked minimally about their own games, but primarily about what was happening in the major leagues. The give-and-take, back-and-forth nature of reasoning, arguing, and making a point on and off the field illustrate the dialogical nature of the discourse. The coach assumes an audience of listeners who share his situation and orientation to action and who recognize that talk about baseball is dominant and valid in this context
Aside from actually learning how to play baseball, which was not a strong motivation for the players, the league attended to other preferences. It was social and allowed a chance to talk about their interest in major league baseball ( a hobby).
closed the letter by requesting that parents "release" their sons to the team before the game and let them "do their own thing" without parental interference. The letter closed with the "Little League Pledge" from the official rule book: "I trust in God. I love my country and will respect its law. I will play fair and strive to win. But win or lose, I will always do my best" (coach's newsletter, April 28, 1988). The coach made the boys memorize the team's three goals and asked them to call these to mind at critical points during the season. He explained his premise in coaching to me in the following way: "Players and coach enter a fantasy world and pretend they are big-league players . . . players are not kids" (personal communication, December 27, 1988). His
This script is similar, again, to AA members whose narrative is shaped by consistent exposure to old timers.
ose boys who would play the most over the season would be those who responded to coaching, worked for the team, tried hard, and consistently exhibited good sportsmanship
This is similar to the hurdlers whose participation was negotiated by the coach. If the hurdler didn't seem serious, the coach limited their ability to participate in races. Motivation to try hard is fostered by commensurate time on the field.
ey features of situations for learning within the team offer direct experimentation and observation by the boys that result in their narratives of hypothetical situations. The coach's philosophy led him to create a fantasy world drama whose scripts demanded that the boys reason and problem solve as big-league players. The baseball season thus became one long drama as play in which the boys worked to suspend or erase their real-world features of inexperience and youth. T
This reminded me of the FW of AA members. There was an AA "curriculum" whose goal was to transform the members' identity. This is similar to the coach's use of language with the players so that they "pretended" to play like major league athletes.