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Surface area to volume ratio and metabolism: analysing small group-task as Vygotskian activity
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Mathematics Education Research Centre (UMERC). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. University of Oxford.
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)
Abstract [en]

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
Keyword [en]
Leading activity, germ cell of activity, learning activity, surface area to volume ratio, metabolism in living cells
National Category
Other Mathematics
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-83054OAI: diva2:664757
British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics (BSRLM) Day Conference, 16 November 2013, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Available from: 2013-11-17 Created: 2013-11-17 Last updated: 2014-09-17Bibliographically approved

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Gade, Sharada
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