In D. Abrahamson (Chair & Organizer) & M. Eisenberg (Discussant), You’re it! Body, action, and object in STEM learning. In J. v. Aalst, K. Thompson, M. J. Jacobson, & P. Reimann (Eds.), Proceedings of the International Conference of the Learning Sciences: Future of Learning (ICLS 2012) (Vol. 2: Symposia, pp. 99-109). Sydney: University of Sydney.
Sixteen established and emerging scholars from seven US universities, who share theoretical perspectives of grounded cognition, empirical contexts of design for STEM content domains, and analytic attention to nuances of multimodal expression, all gather to explore synergy and coherence across their diverging research questions, methodologies, and conclusions. Jointly we ask, What are the relations among embodiment, action, artifacts, and discourse in the development of mathematical, scientific, engineering, or computer-sciences concepts? More specific questions our teams address are: How and when do spatial relations in the perceptual field become the objects we manipulate and name? Does it matter whether we actively engage in a hands-on problem-solving task or just observe vicariously the static or dynamical traces of another person’s current or prior activity? How do we coordinate egocentric and allocentric views into integrated models of phenomena under inquiry? What roles do particular forms of instruction and media play in these learning processes?