Winn (2003) believes that the role the environment plays in learning has been greatly underplayed in research. As we moved to acknowledging that constructivism was a more student active way to support learning Winn builds upon that interaction between environment and learning and states that we must “in turn, […] consider […] how our physical bodies serve to externalize the activities of our physical brains in order to connect cognitive activity to the environment.” (Winn, 2003) He continues with this thought process to argue and to support his theory that a more integrated approach “framework that integrates three concepts, embodiment, embeddedness and adaptation.” (Winn, 2003)
Article two found that targeted formative qualitative feedback improves student performance on tasks. Roschelle, Rafanan, Bhanot, Estrella, Penuel, Nussbaum, & Claro (2010) used a cooperative learning environment as it mimics similar traits to peer tutoring and encourages two positive learning situations: positive interdependence and individual accountability. Using a program called TechPALS that encourages three students to work together to solve part of a problem in math using a portable tech device, instant feedback in relayed to the group about the problem as a whole and then the students continue to solve. Throughout the process feedback is provided real time to the teacher. Overall they saw “small group practice of tasks that link conceptual understanding and mathematical procedures as a genre of activity that can be further supported using technology.” (Roschelle et. al, 2010)
The third paper I read looked at use of gestures in math classroom and its influence on understanding. Novack, Congdon, Hamani-Lopez, & Goldin-Meadow (2014) conducted a study to see if students could generalize the knowledge beyond the problem that was taught. Novack et. al (2014) found the “first evidence that gesture not only supports learning a task at hand, but more importantly, leads to generalization beyond the task.”
I chose to look at the study of mathematics for this week as it was mentioned that so much of our work has been around science and TELE’s and I wanted to explore TELE’s in a math environment. Students often struggle conceptually with Math, long division for example. It’s hard to replicate with hands on learning due to size of numbers but I wonder if a more embodied learning approach would result in greater understanding by students. I am sure there is, I just need to find it, but a TELE that would allow students to interact with large numbers and divide into groupings to see how long division works if they would then be able to bring that knowledge to the algorithm?
I end up with these questions:
- We know feedback is important, what other TELE’s can be used to support more instant feedback to students in an elementary math classroom?
- What bridges need to be developed or examined, for example the Math gestures study, to support students moving from concrete hands on to algorithms and showing their work?
- What supports do teacher need to be able to teach Math in an embodied learning style?
Novack, M. A., Congdon, E. L., Hemani-Lopez, N., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (2014). From action to abstraction: Using the hands to learn math. Psychological Science, 25(4), 903-910.
Roschelle, J., Rafanan, K., Bhanot, R., Estrella, G., Penuel, B., Nussbaum, M., & Claro, S. (2010). Scaffolding group explanation and feedback with handheld technology: impact on students’ mathematics learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 58(4), 399-419.
Winn, W. (2003). Learning in artificial environments: Embodiment, embeddedness, and dynamic adaptation. Technology, Instruction, Cognition and Learning, 1(1), 87-114.