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ERIC Number: ED563179
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 250
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3034-9674-5
ISSN: N/A
Coming to See Objects of Knowledge: Guiding Student Conceptualization through Teacher Embodied Instruction in a Robotics Programming Class
Kwah, Helen
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, New York University
This thesis explores the questions of how a teacher guides students to see concepts, and the role of gesture and gesture viewpoints in mediating the process of guidance. To examine these questions, two sociocultural theoretical frameworks--Radford's cultural-semiotic theory of knowledge objectification (e.g., 2003), and Goldman's Points of Viewing theory (e.g., 2007)--were applied to conduct a microanalytic, explanatory case study of the instructional activity of an exemplary teacher and his students in a middle school robotics programming class. According to Radford, students acquire concepts as they draw upon semiotic resources such as language and gesture to generalize and objectify initially concrete perceptions and actions. I applied Radford's framework to explain the mediations that a teacher might enact in guiding students to objectify and see concepts. Furthermore, I focused on gesture as semiotic means because of emergent research on gesture's role in communicating the visuospatial imagery that underlies math/ scientific concepts. I extended the view of gestures to the viewpoints constructed in gesture, and applied Goldman's theory to explain how perspectives might be actively constructed and shared in the process of guiding student conceptualization. Data was collected over a semester through participant observation, field notes, teacher and student interviews, and reviews of artifacts. Multimodal microanalyses were conducted on video data from eight class sessions. The findings provide confirmations and some disconfirmations about the applicability of Radford's and Goldman's theories for explaining a teacher's process of guiding student conceptualization. Notably, some of Radford's notions about de-contextualization and symbolic generalizations were not confirmed. Overall, the findings are summarized through three themes including, grounding, and perceptual organizers as two ways that gesture and other means served to both index and identify action-perception schemes for bridging to the symbolic level of programming concepts and conceptual structures. A third theme of iteration, shifting, and layering described the quality of the teacher's process, and the importance of constructing shifting and multiple viewpoints in gesture and speech, as Goldman's theory proposed. Finally, implications for designing educational applications that draw upon gesture as mediational means are discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A