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ERIC Number: EJ827232
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 55
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1050-8406
The Emergence of 3D Geometry from Children's (Teacher-Guided) Classification Tasks
Roth, Wolff-Michael; Thom, Jennifer S.
Journal of the Learning Sciences, v18 n1 p45-99 Jan 2009
Geometry, classification, and the classification of geometrical objects are integral aspects of recent curriculum documents in mathematics education. Such curriculum documents, however, leave open how the "work" of classifying objects according to geometrical properties can be accomplished given that the knowledge of these properties is the planned outcome of the curriculum or lesson. The fundamental question of the present study therefore is this: How can a lesson in which children are asked to participate in a task of classifying regular 3-dimensional objects be a geometry lesson, given that the participating 2nd-grade children do not yet classify according to geometrical properties (predicates)? In our analyses, which are inspired by ethnomethodological studies of work, we focus on the embodied and collective work that leads to the "emergence" of the geometrical nature of this lesson. Thus, we report both the collective and the individual work by means of which the lesson outcomes--the complete classification of a set of "mystery" objects according to geometrical (shape) rather than other (color, size, "pointy-ness") properties--are achieved. In the process, our study shows how geometrical work is reproduced by 2nd-grade children who, in a division of labor with their teachers, produce a particular set of geometrical practices (sorting three-dimensional objects according to their geometrical properties) for the 1st time. (Contains 9 footnotes and 8 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 2
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A