Maseeh Colloquium: How Students Use Gestures to Support Their Learning
Friday, November 30, 2012 - 3:15pm

The Maseeh Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium Series* 

"How Students Use Gestures to Support Their Learning"

Karen Marrongelle, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice Chancellor for 
Academic Standards and Collaborations 
~ Office of the Chancellor, Oregon University System~

In this talk, I will present evidence that student use gestures in different ways depending on whether the gestures are used to develop an algorithm or whether they extend or apply a previously developed algorithm in a new context. I illustrate these ideas using an example from undergraduate differential equations in which students move through a sequence of Realistic Mathematics Education (RME)-inspired instructional materials to create the Euler method algorithm for approximating solutions to differential equations. In this research, I found that if students’ primary goal was algorithmatizing ‘from scratch’, they used imagery of graphing and gesturing as a tool for reasoning. However if students’ primary goal was to make predictions in a new context, they used their previously developed Euler algorithm to reason and used graphs and gestures to clarify their ideas.

Friday, November 30th, 2012 at 3:15pm 
Neuberger Hall room 454
(Refreshments served at 3:00 in the presentation room)
This event is free and open to the public. 

* Sponsored by the Maseeh Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium Series Fund and the Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics & Statistics, PSU.