An analysis of learners' engagement in mathematical task.
The present project is part of a larger research programme focussed on the analysis of change; one aspect being educational transformation and in particular an emphasis on the explication of the contentless processes (eg. logical operations, reasoning styles, analysis and synthesis) which underlie both learning and teaching at university level. The present project is aimed at an analysis of the teaching-learning dialectic in mathematics courses. This analysis has two major focal points, that is, making explicit the often tacit and mostly inadequate and/or inappropriate rules for engaging in mathematical tasks which the under-prepared learner brings to the teaching-learning situation, and secondly the teaching strategies which may enable these learners to overcome their past (erroneous) knowledge and skills towards the development of effecient, autonomous mathematical problem-solving strategies. In order to remedy inadequate and inappropriate past learning and/or teaching, the present project presents a set of mediational strategies and regulative cues which function both for the benefit of the teacher and the learner in a problematic teaching-learning situation and on the meta and epistemic cognitive levels of information processing. Furthermore, these mediational strategies and regulative cues fall on a kind of interface between contentless processes and the particular content of the teaching-learning dialectic of mathematics in particular, as well as between the ideal components of any instructional process and the particular needs and demands of under-prepared learners engaged in mathematical tasks.