How can gesturing bring out learners implicit knowledge and help in teaching and learning?
People routinely gesture with their hands when they talk, and these gestures often convey additional information not found in their speech. This study investigated the impact on teaching and learning when 8-9-year-olds used hand gestures to solve maths problems The authors wanted to know if gesturing would bring out implicit knowledge during problem solving; that is the knowledge that can be observed in pupils’ behaviour but which they cannot not express verbally or explain. As a result of a two-part experiment, involving over 170 children, the researchers found that telling children to gesture while explaining their solutions to novel maths problems can be beneficial in two ways. Firstly, some of the children were able to identify new and correct problem-solving strategies. Secondly, gesturing made the children more receptive to teachers’ instructions on how to solve the problems, thus leading to learning. The researchers’ results and conclusions about problem solving will be interest
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