|August 21, 2014|
Seasons opening: What (event, emotion, experience,
inspired you to dedicate yourself to mathematics education?This
is a prelude to the November session on Humanistic Mathematics.
We will be joined by the Humanistic Mathematics group over the video-conference.
Activities will include pair-and-share, group sharing, telling stories,
and the whole group discussion.
Susan Goldin-Meadow (University of Chicago, IL): How our hands help us think about math.
When people talk, they gesture, particularly about mathematical concepts. We now know that these gestures are associated with learning. They can index moments of cognitive instability and reflect thoughts not yet found in speech. What I hope to do in this talk is raise the possibility that gesture might do more than just reflect learning -- it might be involved in the learning process itself. I consider two non-mutually exclusive possibilities. First, gesture could play a role in the learning process by displaying, for all to see, the learner's newest, and perhaps undigested, thoughts about a mathematical problem. Parents, teachers, and peers would then have the opportunity to react to those unspoken thoughts and provide the learner with the input necessary for future steps in mastering the problem. Second, gesture could play a role in the learning process more directly by providing another representational format, one that would allow the learner to explore, perhaps with less effort, ideas about a mathematical problem that may be difficult to think through in a verbal format. Thus gesture has the potential to contribute to cognitive change in mathematics and other domains, directly by influencing the learner and indirectly by influencing the learning environment.
Remaining fall term Forum dates:
October 30 (Windsor University)