Cultural Historical Approach to Thinking
at the University of Victoria


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Research on Gestures and Nonverbal Communication

In Science Classrooms As part of the research on gestures and nonverbal communication in science, we elaborate on a reconceptualization of conceptions that includes talk, gestures and relevant structures of the setting that speakers make available as semiotic resources when talking, based on interviews with students. See abstract here.

Particularly in the context of teaching science through lectures, we investigate how different resources are integrated within the same communicative meaning unit. See abstract here. We also examine the occurrence of demonstrations during science lectures, identifying the verbal and nonverbal markers the teacher uses during these situations that may be used to disambiguate reference and self-reference. See abstract here. Another study focuses on how scientific concepts develop in science lectures from a communicative perspective. See abstract here. We also investigate the various locations the teacher occupies in the classroom, relating these locations with pedagogical, discursive, and interactive practices. See abstract here. Moreover, we have also engaged in a semiotic microanalysis of gesture performance, following the occurrence of catchments (repetitions of main feature of gestures [a concept developed by David McNeill]) within and across lessons, articulating these repetitions as special cases of Derrida's iterability of signs See abstract here.

In another study still in preparation, we account for the abundance of teacher's gestures associated with inscriptions drawn on the chalkboard. See abstract here and yet another study focuses on the gestures performed with either the right or left hand, or with both hands, and what interferes with this choice (I've got one hand in my pocket, and the other one is gesturing towards the board. Right and left hand gestures in teaching).

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