The Function of Gesture in Mathematical and Scientific Discourse in the Classroom
In science and math domains that are highly abstract and complex gestures produced by both teachers and students play an important role in constructing meaning for students. Gesture facilitates the communication of newly forming, abstract ideas and in turn, enables students and teachers to engage in a discourse that will eventually lead the student to a higher level of mathematical and scientific knowledge. I will address two main functions of gesture in mathematical and scientific discourse: (1) Through imagery, gesture makes concepts and phenomena concrete and perceptible, (2) Through teacher-student and peer-peer interactions in the classroom, gesture is used in the co-construction of shared representations. Future directions and implications will also be discussed.
Singer, M. (2017). The Function of Gesture in Mathematical and Scientific Discourse in the Classroom. In R.B. Church, M.W. Alibai, & S.D. Kelly (Eds.), Why Gesture?: How the Hands Function in Speaking, Thinking, and Communicating (pp. 317-329). Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Virtual Commons Citation
Singer, Melissa (2017). The Function of Gesture in Mathematical and Scientific Discourse in the Classroom. In Psychology Faculty Publications. Paper 97.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/psychology_fac/97