Chapter 19. How gesture use enables intersubjectivity in the classroom
In communication it is essential for speaker and listener to establish intersubjectivity, or “common ground.” This is especially true in instructional settings where learning depends on successful communication. One way teachers enable intersubjectivity is through the use of gestures. We consider two circumstances in which gestures establish intersubjectivity: (a) making conversational repair, and (b) explicitly relating the novel (target) representation to a familiar (source) representation. We also identify two main ways gesture is used in establishing intersubjectivity. <i>Linking gestures</i> are sets of attention-guiding gestures (often deictic gestures) that delineate correspondences between familiar and new representations. <i>Catchments</i> use recurrent hand shapes or movements to convey similarity and highlight conceptual connections across seemingly different entities.