Gesturing with hands is a powerful tool for children’s math learning

Author: 
Jann Ingmire, UChicago News Office

Children who use their hands to gesture during a math lesson gain a deep understanding of the problems they are taught, according to new research from the University of Chicago’s Department of Psychology.

“We found that acting gave children a relatively shallow understanding of a novel math concept, whereas gesturing led to deeper and more flexible learning,” explained the study’s lead author, Miriam A. Novack, a PhD student in psychology.

Previous research has found that gestures can help children learn. This study in particular was designed to answer whether abstract gesture can support generalization beyond a particular problem and whether abstract gesture is a more effective teaching tool than concrete action.

The study, “From action to abstraction: Using the hands to learn math,” is published online by Psychological Science.

Read full story here: http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/03/10/gesturing-hands-powerful-too...

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