Collaborative mathematical problem-solving processes

In addition to all the journals I subscribe to in Google Reader, I try to keep track of the excellent aggregation of articles related to educational research that my colleague Doug Holton has set up. Going through the latest updates from his shared items, I discovered an interesting article that was published in the journal Learning and Instruction. This particular article is entitled Socially shared metacognition of dyads of pupils in collaborative mathematical problem-solving processes, and it was written by Finish scholars Tuike Iiskala, Marja Vauras, Erno Lehtinen and Pekka Salonen. Here is a copy of the abstract of their article:

This study investigated how metacognition appears as a socially shared phenomenon within collaborative mathematical word-problem solving processes of dyads of high-achieving pupils. Four dyads solved problems of different difficulty levels. The pupils were 10 years old. The problem-solving activities were videotaped and transcribed in terms of verbal and nonverbal behaviours as well as of turns taken in communication (N= 14 675). Episodes of socially shared metacognition were identified and their function and focus analysed. There were significantly more and longer episodes of socially shared metacognition in difficult as compared to moderately difficult and easy problems. Their function was to facilitate or inhibit activities and their focus was on the situation model of the problem or on mathematical operations. Metacognitive experiences were found to trigger socially shared metacognition.

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