In order to clarify the nature and mechanism of socially constructive interaction, this
paper presents an analysis of an Hypothesis-Experiment-Instruction (HEI) classroom
discussion in which 21 third-graders collaboratively developed a rudimentary scientific
concept of air. The lesson unit consisted of 11 problems whose answers were to be pre-
dicted and discussed one at a time. The analysis focused on the 8th class discussion,
which is seen to be most critical for the conceptual change of the children.
The author adopted two analytic perspectives: the framework theory perspective
and the knowledge-in-piece perspective. From the framework theory perspective, each
child’s model was unique. The diversity of the explanatory model in the class was main-
tained in the entire discussion. From the knowledge-in-piece perspective, every child
actively engaged in the discussion, integrating various knowledge pieces into his/her
model. Role change between task-doing and monitoring in a collaborative situation
basically led children to elaborate their models. Particular type of monitoring aroused
in the classroom played an interesting role in constructing a newer model.