Eight-year-olds gained a deeper understanding of mathematical principles by using their hands as well as their brains, say US psychologists.
Children were taught to solve formulae such as: “4 + 2 + 6 = _ + 6” by making a V-point beneath the numbers to be added, then pointing at the blank.
The actions helped in generalisation, a report in Psychological Science says.
Previous studies have shown that gesture helps learning.
Psychologists think that when children move and make gestures, they are able to express ideas physically, which helps the learning process.
However, the latest research goes further, suggesting abstract gesture may be a more effective teaching tool than manipulating and touching objects.
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