Mathematics Education Research Journal

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 277–302

Patterns of non-verbal social interactions within intensive mathematics intervention contexts

  • Jonathan Norris Thomas
  • Shelly Sheats Harkness
Original Article


This study examined the non-verbal patterns of interaction within an intensive mathematics intervention context. Specifically, the authors draw on social constructivist worldview to examine a teacher’s use of gesture in this setting. The teacher conducted a series of longitudinal teaching experiments with a small number of young, school-age children in the context of early arithmetic development. From these experiments, the authors gathered extensive video records of teaching practice and, from an inductive analysis of these records, identified three distinct patterns of teacher gesture: behavior eliciting, behavior suggesting, and behavior replicating. Awareness of their potential to influence students via gesture may prompt teachers to more closely attend to their own interactions with mathematical tools and take these teacher interactions into consideration when forming interpretations of students’ cognition.


Gesture Numeracy Constructivism Teaching experiment Models 

Copyright information

© Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Inc. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Norris Thomas
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shelly Sheats Harkness
    • 3
  1. 1.University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.The Kentucky Center for MathematicsHighland HeightsUSA
  3. 3.University of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

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