PME 34 Working Group on Gesture, Embodiment and Mathematics

Notes from Intersubjectivity, Methods and Foundations Subgroup

Methods: need kind of foundation behind research (need theoretical
framework) to understand and analyze different items and its relation to
the same meaning

Specific methods or lens use?
Challenges include projecting own gestures to interpretations of
observed/recorded gestures

-Appeared rich in gesture but need a retrospective validation of
interpretations (student recreation of act or teacher interview/ attempt
to describe meaning of action)

-Interviews purposeful to confirm /describe communicative actions-
imperative for supplementary data

-Highly inferential approach to interpreting data based on premise people
not always aware of gesture requires some complimentary data to augment

Gestures framed by phenomenon attempting to interpret
-How do researchers achieve objectivity? Recommendation: participants
become partners in interpreting the data

To what extent are we conscious for our gestures? Frequently teachers are
surprised they are interacting with students- so what extent are they
meaningful or not?
-What are we telling through our body and what is primary?
-What is latent? Some research supports that gestures playing role in
communication in moments as we don't have the linguistic terms to express
what we what to share/ this a valid claim that can be used by
all?by others?

Challenges in Gesture Foundations
Students usually have all terms to describe what they want to say but they
still gesture - is this a layer of "non-linguistic" conscious?

Categories use gesture
(1) conjunctive gesture (plays same role in conversation)
(2) meaningful learning gesture (what the teacher does but may not be
aware)for example: fundamental sustaining a discussion/ re-voicing or
mimicking student ideas back to the class to continue the discussion)

Teacher role to minimizing cognitive view-"pointing" using gesture to
bridge connections between teacher knowledge and student learning- is this
a role for professional development

Intuition and Metaphors for the conceptualization our attempts to use our
life experiences and the way we use experiences in order to understand how
to talk to others and share meaning influences the class culture. Students
have a choice in the class to decide what they want to pay attention to
and what they want to discount. -Where mathematics comes from?

Exchange in methodology and examples presented- i
mentioned methodology we used based on our ideas related to the phenomenon
Embodiment of gesture as a language and the relationship between languages
and how we express ourselves (way language form predicative)

Big Question-What is the goal of this kind of research? Offer more tools
to understand the way we learn and share our learning with others- can we

It puts into perspective the questions of repositioning the conditions in
which learning exists and has implications for teaching and learning-
understanding other forms of math thinking and makes researchers more
sensitive to students how cannot comprehend math using traditional forms
of discourses. it empowers teachers to reach students that need more
How does culture transform the way we think and "talk" in new and diverse
ways since we are continually reformatting our environment (technology and
products). Can help inform a teachers' practice? Uncertainty since so
specific /contextual situations.

Big Question-What are we doing for the community of people we are
observing? Study gesture as function not as its own form....Functions of
gestures in the achievement of shared classroom interaction communication?