Learning from gesture: How our hands change our minds

Miriam Novack*, Susan Goldin-Meadow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


When people talk, they gesture, and those gestures often reveal information that cannot be found in speech. Learners are no exception. A learner’s gestures can index moments of conceptual instability, and teachers can make use of those gestures to gain access into a student’s thinking. Learners can also discover novel ideas from the gestures they produce during a lesson or from the gestures they see their teachers produce. Gesture thus has the power not only to reflect a learner’s understanding of a problem but also to change that understanding. This review explores how gesture supports learning across development and ends by offering suggestions for ways in which gesture can be recruited in educational settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA008
Pages (from-to)405-412
Number of pages8
JournalEducational Psychology Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Communication
  • Development
  • Gesture
  • Learning
  • Mathematics
  • Teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Learning from gesture: How our hands change our minds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this