How Does Teachers' Visual Scaffolding Support Students' Mathematics Learning

Principal Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

The purpose of this project is to understand how variations in teachers’ visual scaffolding affect students’ learning. Our specific focus is on the gestures that teachers produce in instructional episodes that link related representations of mathematical information. In particular, we examine those gestures that serve to ground ideas in the physical environment or in familiar actions, experiences or representations.

Setting: 

Most of the studies will involve video instruction provided to small groups of students in a lab setting. One study involves videotaping college statistics instruction.

Research Design: 

This project has a cross-sectional research design and will generate evidence that is descriptive [observational] and causal [experimental]. Original data will be collected using assessments of learning and observation [videography]. For Studies 1-4, the target population is 6th- and 7th-grade students, where we will use ANOVA to test whether gains from pretest to posttest differ as a function of the nature of teachers' visual scaffolding. In Study 5, we will perform qualitative analyses of visual scaffolding in college statistics instruction.

Findings: 

Findings will be posted as they become available.