Managing common ground in the classroom: teachers use gestures to support students’ contributions to classroom discourse
- 84 Downloads
Maintaining shared understanding in classroom interaction is challenging for both teachers and students. In this paper, we consider the role of teachers’ gestures in promoting shared understanding. Our specific aim was to document ways in which teachers use their own gestures to support students’ contributions to the classroom discourse. We present three illustrative cases that represent the range of variation in teachers’ use of speech (i.e., repeating the students’ speech vs. not speaking at all) and variation in the spatial positioning of the teacher, the student, and the referents of the student’s speech. We argue that teachers use gestures, both to ensure that they share common ground with the individual student who is speaking and to foster common ground among the class as a whole.
KeywordsGesture Classroom discourse Revoicing Teachers
We thank Rachaya Srisurichan and Iasmine Ledesma for assistance in identifying addressee gestures and generating transcripts, and Beth Atkinson for preparing the figures. This study was funded by the National Science Foundation, Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (Grant No. DRL-0816406).
- Alibali, M. W., & Nathan, M. J. (2007). Teachers’ gestures as a means of scaffolding students’ understanding: Evidence from an early algebra lesson. In R. Goldman, R. Pea, B. Barron & S. Derry (Eds.), Video Research in the Learning Sciences (pp. 349–365). Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Alibali, M. W., Nathan, M. J., & Fujimori, Y. (2011). Gestures in the mathematics classroom: What’s the point? In N. Stein & S. Raudenbush (Eds.), Developmental Cognitive Science Goes to School (pp. 219–234). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Arzarello, F., & Paola, D. (2007). Semiotic games: the role of the teacher. In J. Woo, H. Lew, K. Park, & D. Seo (Eds.), Proceedings of the 31st Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (Vol. 2, pp. 17–24). Seoul: The Korea Society of Educational Studies in Mathematics.Google Scholar
- Arzarello, F., & Robutti, O. (2008). Framing the embodied mind approach within a multimodal paradigm. In L. D. English (Ed.), Handbook of International Research in Mathematics Education (pp. 720–749). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Atkin, A. (2013). Peirce’s theory of signs. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2013). Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2013/entries/peirce-semiotics/. Accessed 7 Dec 2018.
- de Fornel, M. (1992). The return gesture: Some remarks on context, inference, and iconic gesture. In P. Auer & A. D. Luzio (Eds.), The Contextualization of Language. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
- French, A., & Nathan, M. J. (2006). Under the microscope of research and into the classroom: Reflections on early algebra learning and instruction. In J. O. Masingila (Ed.), Teachers Engaged in Research (pp. 49–68). Greenwich: Information Age.Google Scholar
- Hare, A., & Sinclair, N. (2015). Pointing in an undergraduate abstract algebra lecture: Interface between speaking and writing. In K. Beswick, T. Muir, & J. Fielding-Wells (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. Hobart, Australia: PME.Google Scholar
- Hilliard, C., & Cook, S. W. (2016). Bridging gaps in common ground: Speakers design their gestures for their listeners. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory & Cognition, 42, 91–103.Google Scholar
- Holler, J., Tutton, M., & Wilkin, K. (2011). Co-speech gestures in the process of meaning coordination. In Proceedings of the 2nd Gesture and Speech in Interaction Conference. Bielefeld, Germany.Google Scholar
- McNeill, D. (1992). Hand and mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Nathan, M. J., Church, R. B., & Alibali, M. W. (2017). Making and breaking common ground: How teachers use gesture to foster learning in the classroom. In R. B. Church, M. W. Alibali, & S. D. Kelly (Eds.), Why gesture? How the hands function in speaking, thinking and communicating (pp. 285–316). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Nathan, M. J., Wolfgram, M. S., Srisurichan, R., Walkington, C., & Alibali, M. W. (2017). Threading mathematics through symbols, sketches, software, silicon, and wood: Teachers produce and maintain cohesion to support STEM integration. The Journal of Educational Research, 110, 272–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Riley, M. S., Greeno, J. G., & Heller, J. I. (1983). Development of children’s problem-solving ability in arithmetic. In H. Ginsburg (Ed.), The Development of Mathematical Thinking (pp. 153–196). Orlando: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Stevenson, H. W., & Stigler, J. W. (1992). The learning gap: Why our schools are failing and what we can learn from Japanese and Chinese education. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
- Stigler, J. W., & Hiebert, J. (1999). The teaching gap: Best ideas from the world’s teachers for improving education in the classroom. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
- Vygotsky, L. S. (1986). Thought and language. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Yoon, C., Thomas, M. O., & Dreyfus, T. (2014). The role of conscious gesture mimicry in mathematical learning. In L. D. Edwards, F. Ferrara & D. Moore-Russo (Eds.), Emerging Perspectives on Gesture and Embodiment in Mathematics (pp. 175–195). Charlotte: Information Age.Google Scholar
- Zukow-Goldring, P., Romo, L., & Duncan, K. R. (1994). Gestures speak louder than words: Achieving consensus in Latino classrooms. In A. Alvarez, P. del & Rio (Eds.), Education as Cultural Construction: Exploration in Socio-cultural Studies (pp. 227–239). Madrid: Fundacio Infancia y Aprendizage.Google Scholar