“They’re gonna explain to us what makes a cube a cube?” Geometrical properties as contingent achievement of sequentially ordered child-centered mathematics lessons
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In mathematics education, there is a continuing debate about the nature of mathematics, which some claim to be an objective science, whereas others note its socially and individually constructed nature. From a strict cultural-historical perspective, the objective and subjective sides of mathematics are but manifestations of a higher-order phenomenon that may be summarized by the aphorism that mind is in society to the extent that society is in the mind. In this study, we show, drawing on exemplifying materials from a second-grade unit on three-dimensional geometry, how mathematics manifests itself both as objective science all the while being subjectively produced. A particular three-turn interactional sequence comes to play a central role. We conclude by re-assigning a positive role to a much-maligned sequentially ordered conversational routine.
Mathematics Education Research Journal
© 2012 Springer Netherlands. This is an electronic version of an article published in Mathematics Education Research Journal (MERJ), Vol. 24(3), 2012, pp. 323-346 Mathematics Education Research Journal (MERJ) is available online at: http://link.springer.com/ with the open URL of your article.
Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum and Pedagogy