ERIC Number: EJ813913
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
The Fragility of Group Flow: The Experiences of Two Small Groups in a Middle School Mathematics Classroom
Armstrong, Alayne C.
Journal of Mathematical Behavior, v27 n2 p101-115 2008
This article considers two small groups of students in the same Grade 8 mathematics classroom whose approaches to the same mathematical problem result in very different experiences. Using videotapes and written transcripts, an analysis of the groups' working processes was undertaken using Sawyer's pre-existing structures required for the presence of group flow, and Davis and Simmt's conditions for complex systems. It is suggested that although both groups had the prerequisite structures in place to experience group flow, the second group was not decentralized enough to enable all members to establish a working collaborative proximal zone of development in which they could develop their ideas as a collective, while the first group was sufficiently decentralized and appeared to demonstrate episodes of experiencing group flow. If teachers are aware of conditions that encourage the experience of group flow, this may help them in forming productive small groups within the classroom and developing successful group-oriented learning tasks.
Descriptors: Grade 8, Mathematics Instruction, Middle School Students, Secondary School Mathematics, Problem Solving, Learning Processes, Group Dynamics, Cooperative Learning
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 8; Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A