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Abstract Title: Evidence of Embodied Cognition via Speech and Gesture Complementarity
Abstract: We are studying how students talk and gesture about physics problems involving directionality. Students discussing physics use more than words and equations; gestures are also a meaningful element of their thinking. Data come from one-on-one interviews in which students were asked to gesture about the sign and direction of velocity, acceleration, and other quantities. Specific contexts are a ball toss in the presence and absence of air resistance, including situations where the ball starts at greater than terminal velocity. Students show an aptitude for representing up to 6 characteristics of the ball with 2 hands. They switch quickly while talking about velocity, acceleration, and the different forces, frequently representing more than one quantity using a single hand. We believe that much of their thinking resides in their hands, and that their gestures complement their speech, as indicated by moments when speech and gesture represent different quantities.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Evan Chase
University of Maine
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Michael Wittmann, University of Maine

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster