Event Title

Gestures In Math, Is It All About Attention? (Gender Differences)

Location

SU 103

Start Date

19-4-2019 9:40 AM

Department

Psychology

Session

Session 2

Description

We know gesture enhances learning but we don’t know why. We will investigate whether gesture’s role in learning is due to its attention-getting properties, and whether this role influences male and female math learners differently. Past research on gesture has consistently demonstrated that iconic gestures in video instruction enhances children’s comprehension of pre-algebraic math concepts, and that gestures provide more meaningful and influential information than verbal communication alone (Cook, Duffy, and Fenn, 2013; Koumoutsakis, Church, Alibali, Singer, and Ayman-Nolley, 2016). To address whether gesture’s role in math learning is attention-getting, we have created an instructional video that replaces gesture with yellow highlighting which merely draws attention to the aspects of the instructed problem described in speech. In contrast, speech with gesture instruction provides images about the instructed problem representing the concept underlying mathematical equivalence; that both sides of the problem are equal in amount (Broaders and Goldin-Meadow, 2010). We predict males will learn more than females in the highlighting condition as a result of males’ stronger ability to spatially process information than females (Briton and Hall, 1995). We also predict there will be no significant difference between genders in gestural instruction because iconic gestures are better at eliciting spatial processing among females than attention- getting properties found in the highlighting condition (Rosip and Hall, 2004). By distinguishing whether gesture is an outcome of attention, we can distinguish what improvements instructional videos can make to effectively impact both male and female learners equally.

Comments

Ruth (Breckie) Church is the faculty sponsor of this project.

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Apr 19th, 9:40 AM

Gestures In Math, Is It All About Attention? (Gender Differences)

SU 103

We know gesture enhances learning but we don’t know why. We will investigate whether gesture’s role in learning is due to its attention-getting properties, and whether this role influences male and female math learners differently. Past research on gesture has consistently demonstrated that iconic gestures in video instruction enhances children’s comprehension of pre-algebraic math concepts, and that gestures provide more meaningful and influential information than verbal communication alone (Cook, Duffy, and Fenn, 2013; Koumoutsakis, Church, Alibali, Singer, and Ayman-Nolley, 2016). To address whether gesture’s role in math learning is attention-getting, we have created an instructional video that replaces gesture with yellow highlighting which merely draws attention to the aspects of the instructed problem described in speech. In contrast, speech with gesture instruction provides images about the instructed problem representing the concept underlying mathematical equivalence; that both sides of the problem are equal in amount (Broaders and Goldin-Meadow, 2010). We predict males will learn more than females in the highlighting condition as a result of males’ stronger ability to spatially process information than females (Briton and Hall, 1995). We also predict there will be no significant difference between genders in gestural instruction because iconic gestures are better at eliciting spatial processing among females than attention- getting properties found in the highlighting condition (Rosip and Hall, 2004). By distinguishing whether gesture is an outcome of attention, we can distinguish what improvements instructional videos can make to effectively impact both male and female learners equally.