learning landscapes in southern africa

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Making sense of the meaning maker: tracking the object of activity in a mathematics classroom using Activity Theory.

Joanne Hardman, University of Cape Town
 
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Making Sense of the Meaning Maker

This paper outlines how one can use Activity Theory as an analytical framework to understand tool use and its attendant developmental impact in context by selecting object-oriented activity as the unit of analysis. It elaborates a methodology for using AT to analyse observational data by developing the notion of evaluative episodes as pedagogical events in which the pedagogical object is made visible in computer based mathematics classrooms. Findings indicate that an evaluative episode can serve as a moment in which the dynamism of an activity system is momentarily frozen, enabling one to model human activity in the system under investigation and, hence, in this study, to understand learning in context.

The paper was prepared for e/merge 2006 but the author was unable to present it during the conference.