What movement counts as students' mathematical knowing

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Gandell, Robyn
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2021-11
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Conference Contribution - Oral Presentation
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New Zealand
mathematics
problem solving
movement
problematisations
curriculum design
heuristics
enactive mode
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Gandell, R. (2021, November). What Movement counts as students' mathematical knowing. Paper presented at the Herenga Delta 2021, the 13th Southern Hemisphere Conference on the Teaching and Learning of Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics
Abstract
In educational research, and in teaching, we often privilege students’ verbalisations and written artifacts as demonstrations of their knowing. Increasingly, however, research in a variety of fields, including cognitive science, neurophysiology and education, shows how the body and body movement are enmeshed in students’ thinking and knowing. From Ingold’s post-humanist perspective, thinking and movement are inseparable in animate human bodies. Movement, from this viewpoint, is not a support for, or an expression of, thinking, rather human bodies spontaneously think in movement. My research investigates how a small group of tertiary students use body movement as they engage with a mathematical problem task. Using a thick descriptive analysis, my research illustrates how students think mathematically in movement. These findings suggest educators may need to reevaluate what they consider as students’ thinking and knowing. By ignoring students’ thinking in movement are we, as teachers and researchers, missing important aspects of students’ thinking? In readdressing what is permitted and privileged as thinking, in the classroom and in research, we need to rethink what counts as students knowing
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