Gesture’s role in reflecting and fostering conceptual change

Miriam A. Novack, Eliza L. Congdon, Elizabeth M. Wakefield, Susan Goldin-Meadow

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


In this chapter, we discuss how gestures-hand movements that accompany speech and provide information in a representational format-contribute to conceptual change. We first describe how a child’s own gestures can indicate when that child will undergo a shift in conceptual understanding. Next, we show that gestures can play a role in causally promoting conceptual change. We end by outlining some of the mechanisms through which gesture may have its effects, and argue that a gesture’s influence likely resides in the unique combination of its intrinsic, defining features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationConverging Perspectives on Conceptual Change
Subtitle of host publicationMapping an Emerging Paradigm in the Learning Sciences
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781315467122
ISBN (Print)9781138205390
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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