The (Embodied) Performance of Physics Concepts in Lectures
Lectures are often thought of in terms of information transfer: students (do not) "get" or "construct meaning of" what physics professors (lecturers) say and the notes they put on the chalkboard (overhead). But this information transfer view does not explain, for example, why students have a clear sense of understanding while they sit in a lecture and their subsequent experiences of failure to understand their own lecture notes or textbooks while preparing for an exam. Based on a decade of studies on the embodied nature of science lectures, the purpose of this article is to articulate and exemplify a different way of understanding physics lectures. We exhibit how there is more to lectures than the talk plus notes. This informational "more" may explain (part of) the gap between students' participative understanding that exists in the situation where they sit in the lecture on the one hand and the one where they study for an exam from their lecture notes on the other. Our results suggest that in lectures, concepts are heterogeneous performances in which meaning is synonymous with the synergistic and irreducible transactions of many different communicative modes, including gestures, body movements, body positions, prosody, and so forth.
Research in Science Education
Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy