Thinking with the Body: Conceptual Integration Through Gesture in Multiviewpoint Model Construction
Language and the Creative Mind. Borkent, Michael, Barbara Dancygier, and Jennifer Hinnell, editors. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications, 2013, Forthcoming
19 Pages Posted: 19 May 2013
Date Written: May 17, 2013
Educational researchers in STEM have recently come to recognize the value of teaching students to construct, critique, revise, and apply models. In this article, we contribute to existing research on students’ model-based reasoning with a fine-grained look at the interaction between two modeling resources: spatial reasoning and the body. How students drift between different gestural viewpoints while still maintaining spatiotemporal continuity in the model — and what implications this has for learning outcomes — are our core concerns in this chapter. Results suggest that gestural acts, in generating complex patterns in space and time, provide a dynamic scaffolding for conceptual development. In the gesture stream, students can both feel the actions of model components and track how those actions relate geographically and temporally to prior and subsequent events in the modeled system.
Keywords: modeling, viewpoint, gesture, spatial reasoning
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