"If this was real": Tensions between using genuine artefacts and collaborative learning in mathematics tasks

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This investigation identified the interactions and discourse employed by students (11–12 years old) when challenged to solve a realistic mathematics problem in a collaborative group situation. The students were asked to use genuine artefacts (including brochures, menus, bus timetables and photographs) to complete an open-ended task in small groups. Although most students were able to establish their own sense of authenticity by aligning the problem to their personal experiences and understandings, it was also the case that the majority found it difficult to establish meaningful, realistic understandings in the group situation. The students were unable to regulate the collective ideas of the group because too much emphasis was placed on personalising the task.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalResearch in Mathematics Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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