Social interactions and cognitive effects in contexts of area-comparison problem solving

Pedro Cobo, Josep M. Fortuny

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The paper we present is a case study which has two objectives: the identification of the interactions between pairs of 16 and 17-year-old students related to problem solving and the influence of such interactions in their cognitive development. To achieve these aims, we consider problems associated with a definite conceptual structure - problems comparing flat surface areas -, and we focus the analysis of the interactions on the point of view of the thematic and interlocutive dimensions of the discourse. Such analysis has allowed us to identify a wide typology of exchanges, and, from this, to outline four models of interaction - alternative, guided, relaunching, and co-operative. In the cases analysed, these interactions significantly influence the individual development of cognitive and heuristic abilities in the problem solving process. © 2001 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-140
JournalEducational Studies in Mathematics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000


  • Cognitive benefits
  • Development
  • Discourse
  • Heuristic abilities
  • Models of interaction

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