Published in Cognition and Instruction, Vol. 20, No. 2 (June 2002) at 10.1207/S1532690XCI2002_4


Studied under a variety of names (e.g., self-explanation, self-directed and generative summarization), it is now a well-accepted finding that the process of learner articulation contributes to new learning. While prior research has focused on measuring the effects of various forms of articulation on learning outcomes, this report focuses on how such articulation maybe accomplished, moment to moment and turn by turn. Specifically, it documents some of the ways in which participants use their bodies and, in particular, their hands while displaying what they know. It presents fine-grained analyses of three videotaped fragments of naturally occurring interaction among medical teachers and students participating in tutorial meetings in a Problem-Based Learning curriculum. Within these three exhibits, we find evidence of recipient design with regard to gesture production and recipient response with reference to its performance. We also find evidence of gesture re-use as a mechanism for cohesion across turns at talk and as a display of mutual understanding. This paper represents a preliminary step toward a more general program of research focusing on sense making practices in learning settings. Extending our understanding of how such practices are accomplished interactionally is a crucial step toward eventually being able to give an adequate account of what makes any exemplary form of instruction effective.

Figures.rtf (4368 kB)