Signs of learning in kinaesthetic science activities

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftPaper/skriftligt oplægForskningpeer review


The study addresses how students use communicative signs (e.g., speech and gesture) to shape and develop cognitive schemas during a bodily exploration of force and motion in a physics teaching-learning activity. We see ‘the experiential gestalt of causation’ as a cognitive element that may be used to couple an embodied experience of physics with the language of physics through dialogue. We propose that kinaesthetic learning is a way of integrating a bodily experience into a formal system of signs, in this case, force and motion in physics, but ask: to a teacher or researcher, what signs exist that students use bodily explorations to construct meaning and understanding from kinaesthetic learning that is relevant to school physics? To answer the question, we employ a semiotics perspective to analyse data from a 1-hour lesson for 8-9th graders which introduced students to kinaesthetic activities, where they used rope to pull each other in a linear and circular motion. The activity was centered on questions that guided their kinaesthetic inquiry which related to force and velocity (e.g. “do you always move in the same direction as you are pulled?”) and Newton’s third law (e.g. “who pulls the most?”). The analysis is conducted by searching the data to find episodes that illustrate student activity which can serve as a sign of the object that the ‘experiential gestalt of causation’ is employed in the construction of the intended learning outcome. In essence, we study a chaotic but authentic teaching-learning situation involving school children in order to detail situations that can reasonably be construed as evidence that students learn.
Publikationsdato4 jul. 2015
Antal sider4
StatusUdgivet - 4 jul. 2015
Udgivet eksterntJa
BegivenhedConference of the European Science Education Research Association - Helsinki, Finland
Varighed: 31 aug. 20154 sep. 2015
Konferencens nummer: 11th


KonferenceConference of the European Science Education Research Association


  • didaktik