Research shows that the act of gesturing itself seems to accelerate learning, bringing nascent knowledge into consciousness and aiding the understanding of new concepts
There is a new conceptualization of intelligence that takes shape in the social and biological sciences. This conceptualization involves many lines of inquiry that can be loosely grouped under the title situated cognition: the idea that thinking doesn’t happen in some abstract, disembodied space, but always in a particular brain, in a particular body, located in a particular social and physical world. The moment-by-moment conditions that prevail in that brain, that body, and that world powerfully affect how well we think and perform.
One of the most interesting lines of inquiry within this perspective is known as embodied cognition: the recognition that our bodies play a big role in how we think. Physical gestures, for example, constitute a kind of back-channel way of expressing and even working out our thoughts. Research demonstrates that the movements we make with our hands when we talk constitute a kind of second language, adding information that’s absent from our words. It’s learning’s secret code: Gesture reveals what we know. It reveals what we don’t know. And it reveals (as Donald Rumsfeld might put it) what we know, but don’t yet know we know. What’s more, the congruence—or lack of congruence—between what our voices say and how our hands move offers a clue to our readiness to learn.
The hypothesis states that interactive experience and skills play enabling roles in both the development and current function of social brain mechanisms, even in cases where social understanding happens in the absence of immediate interaction
Editor’s note: Few issues are as important to the future of humanity as acquiring literacy. Brain-scanning technology and cognitive tests on a variety of subjects by one of the world’s foremost cognitive neuroscientists has led to a better understanding of how a region of the brain responds to visual stimuli. The results could profoundly affect learning and help individuals with reading disabilities
"Formally, our goals for learning interventions should be retention over time until needed and transfer to all appropriate situations (and no inappropriate ones). And these are important goals." A third goal is also important - learner confidence. It's a "desirable, maybe even necessary outcome of any really successful learning."
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