The purpose of this study is to clarify what everyday concepts of fractions appear in classes and how children form the meanings of fractions in a classroom, using the Vygotskian theories about everyday concepts and mathematical concepts, and the ZPD. Firstly, everyday concepts and mathematical concepts are defined according to the Vygotskian theories, and then a child's concept formation process is described using these theories and an idea called sublated concepts (Yoshida, 2000). Secondly, the new aspect (partition-quantity fraction) is introduced in addition to the other four aspects of the fraction: partition fraction, quantity fraction, ratio fraction and quotient fraction, which have standardly been used in Japan. In particular, the partition-quantity fraction [A] is closely related to children's everyday concepts. In conclusion, the following are pointed out: 1) Children's everyday concept of fractions became the driving force for forming the fraction concept. 2) Children formed the meanings of the partition-quantity fraction [A] in a classroom, while focusing on the partitioning activities. Therefore, in this situation, they were not conscious of the quantity of the fraction. Then children formed the meanings of the partition-quantity fraction [C] in a classroom, while focusing on the quantity of the fraction. 3) The teacher played the following three roles: firstly, setting up a suitable situation for children to form the meanings of fractions; secondly, understanding well the children's everyday concepts and helping children create the appropriate ZPDs; and finally, using the appropriate learning materials.
In this study, we investigated how elementary school pupils (the lower, middle, and upper grades) learn from each other in science classes over a long period, and we attempted to analyze the results of the investigation. In addition, we enhanced the culture of cooperative learning among the pupils. In Study 1, changes observed in discussion cases that occurred in existing groups were investigated. The results showed that discussions tended to end in easy agreement and rarely became an experience-exchange case. In Study 2, discussions were investigated in second grade classes in which instructions regarding cooperative learning had been given. The results indicated that the level of discussion does not depend on the grade but on the culture of cooperative learning that exists among the pupils. In Study 3, it was clarified that the enhancement of the culture of cooperative learning can be observed in any grade by drawing out the pupils' existing ability to learn from each other and by letting them have free-group discussion and work together. In Study 4, the relationship between discussion cases and the composition of groups was investigated. The results indicated that the members who had experienced the experience-exchange case tended to form the same group.
Decision making as a key concept in Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) is important. It remains to be introduced into FACS and the ability to make decisions needs to be fostered. The purpose of this paper was to obtain suggestions for the fostering of decision-making ability in FACS. The author tried to analyze Japanese and American textbooks from the following viewpoints; (1) contexts of decision making, (2) what the decision-making process is, (3) to what extent values are related to decision-making, (4) whether we can find descriptions about meta-judgements or not. Japanese and American textbooks include materials on decision-making for oneself and for one's family, and reasonable decision making as consumers. In American textbooks, the decision-making process is realistic and concrete, and there are descriptions about values. The concrete simulation of decision making is effective for learners. It is necessary that we develop a method for fostering decision-making ability in situations of uncertainty, which is suitable for Japanese students.
The purpose of this study is to examine the structure of factors that affect attitude toward thinking activities during experiments. Extracted from previous studies, the study hypothesized that attitude is influenced by three factors: (1) understanding the purpose, (2) thinking skills, and (3) perseverance. The 11-item questionnaire, which measured these three factors in addition to attitudes, was administered to 134 junior high school students. The study revealed that the questionnaire had research validity. In addition, the analysis in the Structural Equation Modeling indicated that the effects of understanding the experimental purposes and thinking skills are influential factors on the attitude towards thinking activities. On the other hand, the direct effect of perseverance is relatively small.
The purpose of this study was to analyze learners' thinking before they begin to make a product, by using protocol analysis. The statements are collected from 14 students(aged 21〜23) who have lots of experience of making products. The collected protocol data was classified based on the structure of teaching material on "manufacturing class" by utilizing the ISM method. As a result, it could be clarified that students think about broader matters such as "the plan for making products", "plan figure", "consideration of products quality" and "the use of tools and machines" Many students think deeply about the stage of joining and assembling in the making process. Students expressed many thoughts concerned with ideas and design at the beginning of the making process. Also towards the end of the making process many thoughts were expressed on the use of their finished goods. Two patterns of thinking became clear. Some students started by thinking about "the use of tools and machines", whereas others came to think about this by the end of the process.
In these studies, opportunities for discussion were constantly provided in science, Japanese, and math classes at an elementary school. The discussions were videotaped and recorded by cassette tape recorder over a long period, and pupils' discussion activities were analyzed. In Study 1, it was clarified that the communication skills pupils used varied depending on the subject. The results of Study 2 indicated that the teaching methods which each teacher independently established for each subject, based on the instruction guides, significantly affected the pupils' communication. That is, the pupils' discussions reflected the old teaching methods used by instructors who had not changed their ways. This suggests that teaching methods need to be restructured. In Study 3, a self-monitoring system was introduced. As a result, a discussion culture in which pupils exchanged knowledge and experience was formed. Furthermore, the study revealed that the communication skills observed in science classes were applied to discussions in other subjects. This result showed that drawing on students' existing cooperative learning skills enabled them to communicate effectively in other subjects.