Lambert, S. G., Tancredi, S., Fiedler, B. L., Moore, E. B., Gorlewicz, J. L., Abrahamson, D., & Gomez Paloma, F. (2022). Getting a grip on geometry: Developing a tangible manipulative for inclusive quadrilateral learning.

Italian Journal of Health Education, Sports and Inclusive Didactics, 6(1), 1–21.

ABSTRACT: A joint project of design-based educational researchers, mechatronic engineers, and digital accessibility experts has created a new genre of pedagogical technologies — hybrid material–digital multimodal artifacts for collaborative learning of sensorily diverse students in inclusive classrooms. Here we present the Quad, a manipulable quadrilateral hand-held object that is linked in real time to its digital screen-based simulation, whose own transformation, in turn, activates content-oriented voice description and output sonification. Pilot studies with blind and visually-impaired student participants suggest the Quad’s potential in grounding geometric reasoning, insight, and generalization in exploratory haptic–proprioceptive investigation. In its conception and development, the Quad exemplifies the ethical, philosophical, and theoretical perspectives of its collaborating designers respecting all children’s universal right to access and participate in cultural practices, including techno–scientific activities. As researchers, we harness technological innovations to realize moral obligations and, through that, to promote the study of human perception, action, and cognition. We look forward to mutual growth of our research program along with parallel efforts advancing an Italian project to promote teachers’ pre-service training and professional development surrounding implications of the embodiment turn in the cognitive sciences for school-based instructional practice.

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