In this special issue contributors observed a class of seventh graders making their first steps in analyzing statistical data. From a number of different perspectives, they applied a different conceptual lens to answer a set of well-defined questions about the process of learning. The approaches offered in the six contributions differ in their foci, questions asked, organizing principles, and methods of analysis. As such, this issue presents and contrasts the differing perspectives and methodologies of each contributing author, while showing that they are complementary rather than mutually exclusive.
Appended to this issue is a CD-ROM disk on which the reader will find hypertext versions of all the articles together with video clips presenting the classroom episodes. The episodes are subtitled and the hypertext enables smooth transitions from the transcript lines quoted in the articles to the corresponding segments of video clips.
Volume 11, Numbers 2 and 3, 2002. Contents: GUEST EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION: A. Sfard, K. McClain, Analyzing Tools: Perspectives on the Role of Designed Artifacts in Mathematics Learning. ARTICLES: K. McClain, Appendix: The Object and the Context--What Our Data Are and Where They Come From. ARTICLES: P. Cobb, Reasoning With Tools and Inscriptions. K. McClain, Teacher's and Students' Understanding: The Role of Tools and Inscriptions in Supporting Effective Communication. E.A. Forman, E. Ansell, Orchestrating the Multiple Voices and Inscriptions of a Mathematics Classroom. G.B. Saxe, Children's Developing Mathematics in Collective Practices: A Framework for Analysis. A.D. Schliemann, Representational Tools and Mathematical Understanding. A. Sfard, The Interplay of Intimations and Implementations: Generating New Discourse With New Symbolic Tools. COMMENTARIES: B. van Oers, Fruits of Polyphony: A Commentary on a Multiperspective Analysis of Mathematical Discourse. M. Lampert, Appreciating the Complexity of Teaching and Learning in School: A Commentary on Cobb; Forman and Ansell; McClain; Saxe; Schliemann; and Sfard. N. Mercer, Diversity and Commonality in the Analysis of Talk. D.H. Macbeth, A Commentary on Instructional Design.