ERIC Number: ED336391
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Understanding Collaborative Learning: Small Group Work on Contextual Problems Using a Multi-Representational Software Tool.
Smith, Erick; Confrey, Jere
The interactions of three high school juniors (two females and one male) working together on a series of contextual mathematics problems using a multirepresentational software tool were studied. Focus was on determining how a constructivist model of learning, based on an individual problematic-action-reflection model, can be extended to offer explanatory power for small-group collaborative learning. This extension is constructed by adopting several concepts from the socio-historic or Vygotskian school, including the zone of proximal development, cultural tools, proleptic talk, and appropriation. The subjects worked together during a 10-week secondary mathematics course that focused on problem solving with Function Probe. Although constructivist and socio-historic approaches to cognition have, at times, been interpreted as offering opposing viewpoints, it is suggested that there is a potential complementarity, particularly in the area of collaborative peer learning, since researchers in neither area have as yet offered a strong explanatory model for how students jointly construct mathematical knowledge. Four figures and a 24-item list of references are included. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Collaborative Learning; Constructivist Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).