Champaign , USA
Education building, Room 22
Dr. Martha W. Alibali, a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will give a talk on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus titled "Understanding Change in Mathematical Thinking: A Perception-Action Perspective."
Dr. Martha W. Alibali, a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will give a talk titled "Understanding Change in Mathematical Thinking: A Perception-Action Perspective."
Mathematical thinking involves perceiving mathematical objects and inscriptions, and taking actions--both mental and physical—to solve mathematical problems. In this talk, I argue that considering students’ perceptions and actions can enrich our conceptions of mathematical thinking, learning, and instruction. The talk will proceed in three parts. First, I will consider learners’ perceptions of mathematical problems. I will argue that perceptual encoding guides problem-solving actions. Second, I will consider the role of physical actions in mathematical thinking. I will argue that mathematical ideas are often grounded in physical actions, and as a consequence, physical actions can also affect mathematical thinking. Finally, I will consider how mathematics instruction guides learners’ perceptions of mathematics problems and their mathematical actions. Teachers use instructional gestures to guide students’ perceptions, to express the physical grounding of mathematical concepts in action, and to make connections across different representations of mathematical ideas. Instruction also provides opportunities for actions, and these actions may have a legacy in students’ thinking that is visible in their gestures. Taken together, these lines of work contribute to knowledge about the roles of perception and action in mathematical thinking, and they highlight new questions about mathematics learning and instruction.
Prior to the talk, there will be a discussion about the book Why Gesture?, co-edited by Dr. Alibali, which begins at 10:15 a.m. in Room 22. Learn more...
Contact: Gloriana Gonzalez
Sponsor: College of Education