ERIC Number: EJ1038536
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
The Different Benefits from Different Gestures in Understanding a Concept
Kang, Seokmin; Hallman, Gregory L.; Son, Lisa K.; Black, John B.
Journal of Science Education and Technology, v22 n6 p825-837 Dec 2013
Explanations are typically accompanied by hand gestures. While research has shown that gestures can help learners understand a particular concept, different learning effects in different types of gesture have been less understood. To address the issues above, the current study focused on whether different types of gestures lead to different levels of improvement in understanding. Two types of gestures were investigated, and thus, three instructional videos (two gesture videos plus a no gesture control) of the subject of mitosis--all identical except for the types of gesture used--were created. After watching one of the three videos, participants were tested on their level of understanding of mitosis. The results showed that (1) differences in comprehension were obtained across the three groups, and (2) representational (semantic) gestures led to a deeper level of comprehension than both "beat" gestures and the no gesture control. Finally, a "language proficiency" effect is discussed as a moderator that may affect understanding of a concept. Our findings suggest that a teacher is encouraged to use representational gestures even to adult learners, but more work is needed to prove the benefit of using gestures for adult learners in many subject areas.
Descriptors: Nonverbal Communication, Human Body, Learning Processes, Instructional Materials, Video Technology, Comprehension, Semantics, Language Proficiency, Concept Formation, Adults
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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