Als je iets uitlegt dan gaan de meeste mensen behoorlijk gaan gesticuleren, ze gaan allerlei gebaren maken met hun handen. We lijken dit van nature te doen, en dat is goed. Onderzoek toont dat goede ondersteuning met de handen leraren meer effectief maken. Maar ook leerlingen zouden beter begrijpen (en dus onthouden) als ze zelf meer gebaren maken en de leraar hierbij imiteren.
Dit besluiten Zhange et al op basis van twee experimenten die hier door Scientific American worden samengevat waaronder deze:
In the first of two experiments, reported in the February issue of Cognitive Science, 60 undergraduates came to a laboratory to stand and watch a brief narrated video. The video explained the idea of a statistical model, a function that generates predictions. It depicted data as the bars of histograms and models as the means, or averages, of the data. (The simplest model of a collection of numbers is its mean.) Study participants were divided into three groups. A control group simply watched the video. A “match” group watched the same video overlaid with an animation. For the latter group, when the narrator said, for example, that one data set had more variation than another—represented by histograms with more bars placed along their x axis—two vertical red bars (unrelated to the histogram bars) moved away from each other. Those participants were asked to imitate the movement of the red bars with their hands, holding them vertically and moving them apart. A “mismatch” group was instructed to imitate red bars that moved in ways incongruous to the lesson. During the description of variation, for example, they were horizontal and moved vertically.
After watching the video three times, all participants took a short quiz. The match group outperformed the mismatch group, 16.3 to 12.6 (out of a maximum score of 23) on average, and the control group registered an in-between score. A second experiment reproduced the results with 130 college students, this time sitting at laptops. Match participants scored 4.4 out of five points on average, outperforming both the control group (four points) and the mismatch group (3.8).
Opvallend is ook dat toen men de betrokkenheid peilde, ook hier een duidelijk positief effect merkbaar was.
Uit eerder onderzoek was ook al het belang aangetoond van wijzen en aantonen op foto’s.
Abstract van het onderzoek:
Producing content‐related gestures has been found to impact students’ learning, whether such gestures are spontaneously generated by the learner in the course of problem‐solving, or participants are instructed to pose based on experimenter instructions during problem‐solving and word learning. Few studies, however, have investigated the effect of (a) performing instructed gestures while learning concepts or (b) producing gestures without there being an implied connection between the gestures and the concepts being learned. The two studies reported here investigate the impact of instructed hand movements on students’ subsequent understanding of a concept. Students were asked to watch an instructional video—focused on the concept of statistical model—three times. Two experimental groups were given a secondary task to perform while watching the video, which involved moving their hands to mimic the placement and orientation of red rectangular bars overlaid on the video. Students were told that the focus of the study was multitasking, and that the instructed hand movements were unrelated to the material being learned. In the content‐match group the placement of the hands reinforced the concept being explained, and in the content‐mismatch group it did not. A control group was not asked to perform a secondary task. In both studies, findings indicate that students in the content‐match group performed better on the posttest, and showed less variation in performance, than did students in the content‐mismatch group, with control students falling in between. Instructed hand movement—even when presented as an unrelated, secondary task—can affect students’ learning of a complex concept.