Gestures and Mathematical Performance

Although I don't normally blog on the weekends, I thought this article from New Scientist was pretty interesting: teachers who "talk with their hands" may actually be better teachers than those who are less animated, new research shows. In Susan Goldin-Meadow's recent study with 160 elementary schoolers, kids performed far better on a series of math questions when their teachers instructions included specific meaningful hand gestures, as compared to other groups who received only abstract or no hand gestures.

Spatial thinking may be beneficial for mathematical skill, and it's likely that these hand gestures would engage the parietal lobe, a region of the brain responsible for our representation of space.


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