In M.-C. Shanahan, B. Kim, M. A. Takeuchi, K. Koh, A. P. Preciado-Babb, & P. Sengupta (Eds.), The Learning Sciences in conversation: Theories, methodologies, and boundary spaces (pp. 153–170). Routledge.
ABSTRACT: Recent developments in theory of cognitive sciences, interactive technological media, and empirical research instruments are enabling the Learning Sciences to investigate whether manipulation-based mathematics learning might be appropriate beyond early elementary school. Drawing on the embodiment turn in epistemology, the chapter supports and extends Piaget’s implication of sensorimotor activity as grounding conceptual development. If, as per enactivism, perception consists in perceptually guided action, and cognitive structures emerge from the recurrent sensorimotor patterns that enable action to be perceptually guided, then mathematics pedagogy should stage conditions that foster this learning process. After overviewing the rationales of embodied learning, the chapter discusses cumulative findings from a design-based research project evaluating the action-based genre of the embodied-design framework. Implementing embodied design would require systemic change in how we conceptualize cognition, what activities we create, how we facilitate these activities, how we prepare teachers, what classroom epistemic norms we sanction, and how we assess learning.