LSL/OER Talk: Embodiment in mathematics teaching and learning: A view from students’ and teachers’ gestures

LSL/OER Talk: Embodiment in mathematics teaching and learning: A view from students’ and teachers’ gestures

Date & Time

30 May 2014, 00:00

Venue

NIE5-B3-38

Department

Learning Sciences Lab (LSL)
Office of Education Research (OER)

Category

Talks

Events Details

Dr Mitchell J. Nathan
Educational Psychology Dept.
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Date: 30 May 2014 (Fri)
Time: 2.30 – 3.30 pm
Venue: LSL Meeting Room (NIE5-B3)


Gestures are often taken as evidence that the body is involved in thinking and speaking about the ideas expressed in those gestures. In this talk, I present evidence drawn from teachers’ and learners’ gestures to make the case that mathematical knowledge is embodied. I argue that mathematical cognition is embodied in two ways: It is based in perception and action, and it is grounded in the physical environment. I argue that (a) pointing gestures reflect the grounding of cognition in the physical environment, (b) representational gestures manifest mental simulations of action and perception, and (c) some metaphoric gestures reflect body-based conceptual metaphors. Thus, gestures reveal that some aspects of mathematical thinking are embodied.

The background of this talk can be found in the article ‘Embodiment in Mathematics Teaching and Learning: Evidence From Learners' and Teachers' Gestures.’ published in the Journal of the Learning Sciences, 21(2), 247-286.

Dr Mitchell J. Nathan is currently a Professor of Learning Sciences (Educational Psychology Dept.) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Director of the Center on Education and Work, and Director of the IES Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Mathematical Thinking, Learning and Instruction. He holds faculty appointments in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, the Psychology Department, and the Wisconsin Center for Educational Research (WCER) and is also a member of the UW Cognitive Science Cluster and the Delta Program steering committee.