Surface area to volume ratio and metabolism: analysing small group-task as Vygotskian activity
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics (BSRLM) Volume 33 Number 3 / [ed] C Smith, London, 2013, 25-30 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
Three students Dan, Levi and Thor, attempt a group-task containing worksheets A and B. While worksheet A asks students to calculate and compare surface area to volume ratio of a sphere for six successive units, worksheet B asks them to consider the metabolism of living cells and the bearing the ratio has on their functioning and size. While Levi and Thor own the group-task, follow its instructions and deliberate on its questions, Dan declares his intention of observing Levi and Thor and takes a free ride. Based on students inscriptions and transcript of audio-recordings, I show how Levi and Thor work through calculations required in worksheet A with ease, even coming up with conjectures. In attempting worksheet B they are able to correlate better metabolism in cells with a smaller radius, yet question if that model is indeed borne out in reality. The concept of activity in Vygostkian theory is used to study students attempts at the group-task. Three constructs from cultural historical activity theory and/or CHAT namely leading activity, germ cell of activity and learning activity are utilised to shed light on attempts by Dan, Levi and Thor at their group-task.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, 2013. 25-30 p.
, Proceedings of the British society for research into learning mathematics, ISSN 1463-6840 ; 33:3
Leading activity, germ cell of activity, learning activity, surface area to volume ratio, metabolism in living cells
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-83054OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-83054DiVA: diva2:664757
British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics (BSRLM) Day Conference, 16 November 2013, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK