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ERIC Number: ED497017
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Oct
Pages: 10
Abstractor: Author
Visual Display and Co-Expressivity as Students Strive for Intersubjectivity in a Spatial Reasoning Task. WCER Working Paper No. 2005-10
Nathan, Mitchell J.; Eilam, Billie
Wisconsin Center for Education Research (NJ1)
This paper explores the role of co-expressivity of drawing, speech, and gesture as sixth graders strive for intersubjectivity in their attempts to communicate solutions of a spatial reasoning task. Several obstacles to intersubjectivity are documented, particularly conflicts between a literal and geometric interpretation, limits of students' drawing abilities, and lack of conventions for designating cuts and interpreting three-dimensional information depicted in two dimensions. A conversation analysis approach reveals how failure to achieve intersubjectivity leads students to employ co-expressive forms of communication and to make conversational and representational repairs. The discourse analysis exposes students' optimistic views that their graphical representations will be understood by and convincing to others. It raises questions about the nature of students' understanding and production of graphical representations. Students need to see external, graphical representations as formal representations of the world. As such, they need to establish conventions for reading these representations and for connecting these representations with those aspects of the world they are meant to model. (Contains 4 figures.) [The research reported in this paper was supported by Interagency Education Research Initiative (IERI; a collaboration of NSF, Department of Education-OERI/IES, and NIH-NICHD).]
Wisconsin Center for Education Research. School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1025 West Johnson Street Suite 785, Madison, WI 53706. Tel: 608-263-4200; Fax: 608-263-6448; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Madison.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A