Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Environmental Education Research Group

Re-imagining futures in STEME

VRiE seminar series 2016

Disentangling Modes of Social Interaction in Student Collaborative Problem Solving by Dr. Esther Chan, Research Fellow at the International Centre for Classroom Research, University of Melbourne


This presentation reports research conducted in a laboratory classroom, where intact classes of students were filmed responding to carefully crafted and delivered mathematical tasks in order to investigate modes of social interaction during collaborative problem solving. Analysis of the transcripts of student-student interactions identified three qualitatively distinct modes of interaction, which we have characterised as mathematical, socio-mathematical, and social. Negotiation with respect to each of these employs its own lexicon and can be considered as a distinct mode of interaction. We contend that all three must be studied in situ and in relation to each other as they occur in authentic classroom activity.


Dr Esther Chan is a Research Fellow in the International Centre for Classroom Research (ICCR) at The University of Melbourne. She is a registered psychologist who specialises in educational psychology and assessment. She is currently involved in several research projects at the ICCR, including an investigation of collaborative problem solving in mathematics, and a study of the knowledge construction process of mathematics teachers. Prior to joining the ICCR, she worked on several Australian Government funded projects in student wellbeing and achievement, early literacy assessment, and school retention. She was awarded the Endeavour Research Fellowship in 2015 by the Australian Government and was hosted six months by the University of California, Berkeley.

Posted May 20, 2016

27 May 2016, 12:00am

Video conference to:

  • Burwood N3.11;
  • Waurn Ponds ic3.108;
  • MCC 550 Bourke St. Meeting Room 3;

dial VMP 52236919