Restarting the literature review

Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: If you leave me now (Chicago)

Right, I’ve decided to restart looking at my literature review – because the truth is I have no idea – and the weekend certainly didn’t make it any clearer. So, what I’m going to do without any pressure of looking at a word document is to write here instead (and I’m being very wordy about this part because I’m too scared to start – don’t know what is actually scaring me – but the literature review is starting to become like the monster in the closet!).

So, starting. I think what I need first is my research questions so I know what I’m doing, so going to copy them across – well the current research questions that I’m using obviously :D.

How does the use of software modes influence the learning of mathematics with respect to the three problem types?


Are self-explanations better promoted in different software modes depending on the questions types?

Ok, I’ve got the research questions … now what?I already know the answer to the first in terms of quantitative date … it doesn’t! Anyway, that is not what I’m here for, I’m here to dig up literature that would genuinely show me how I could have come with this question and why it is important and what would literature conjecture it would be.How to start? I have no idea *sob* *sob* – I’ve got some literature in the introduction which are just pertinent to the research questions – I think this is what is called writer’s block. I can’t be having it now – I’ve got at least 60,000 words to go :). I have some vague feeling I should start with Vygotsky but have no idea how. Although, Rebecca did mention that his scaffolding thing might be related to my research – hmmm – gonna have a brief look at it. Ok had a quick look at Vygotsky in several websites on scaffolding and zones of proximal development and some contrasts with Piaget. They all seem to apply to children’s learning. I just trying to determine to what extent this sort of theory can be applied to higher education or adult learning or if at all. Ok, I’ve just asked Rebecca and she has recommended I read a paper by Andrew Ravenscroft on  “Reclaiming thinking: Dialectic, dialogic and learning in the digital age“.  So, gonna add it to my endnote and give it a quick read to see if it makes any sense or has anything related to me.

Alright, thought I was onto something with this paper – but came up with nothing – well nothing right now it might prove useful later – anyway, the paper embarks on dialectic and dialogic which I had no clue of until I embarked on a search on wikipedia which revealed that dialetic is basically a logical argument (so just your plain old logics) and dialogic is as I gathered a dialogue – note here I mean a conversation between two  or more persons – but the dialogue is not synchronous or even near synchronous – because the dialogue could be a person interacting with the works of someone’s previous literature (who may or may not be dead and thus cannot contradict or illuminate the discussion – as I gather basically a literature review!) and moving on a discussion – although it is said a thought could be in some ways a form of the dialogic … I guess in that sense you’re having a dialogue between yourself and moving on the thought? Not sure if this interpretation is quite there – but will use if for myself in the meantime.

Anyway, so was expecting Ravenscroft et al. to explain to me why Vygotsky take on learning could be apply to higher education or to term it in Vygotskyian terms “a more learned other” (although a more learned other could just be someone in Form 3 versus someone in primary school so not sure that would count as higher education :P), but all they said was that it is widely accepted that it can be used. But by whom? And who made it acceptable? I hate these questions – need to find some recording of this in some literature – ok new literature research beginning. Gonna post this and perhaps make a new post or come back to it.

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