ERIC Number: ED388108
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Perspective-Taking in Classroom Science Talk.
Crowder, Elaine M.; Warburton, Edward
A study analyzed the perspectives, as expressed in gestures, of six sixth-grade students in science classes as they either explained in-the-moment or described book-learned or previously thought-out ideas. Student behaviors were analyzed for evidence of three perspectives: (1) outside observer, shown by the observer standing apart from his gesture space; (2) inside observer, by entering the space and using hand movements; and (3) participant, by representing objects or concepts with their whole bodies. The perspectives taken by the students were compared with their explanatory styles (describing vs. explaining). It was found that inside observer perspective accompanied in-the-moment explaining, while outside observer was associated more with description. Students shifted among the various perspectives more frequently when explaining than describing. Periods of shifting perspective-taking helped to identify key moments in the students' struggle to solidify understanding. It is suggested that the various perspectives may serve distinct purposes in science discourse: inside observer perspective might more easily allow the gesturer to combine a close view with objectivity, a combination that might improve problem-solving efficiency. Outside observer perspective may be better suited to other-directed expression of ideas. (Author/MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 18-22, 1995).