Interesting lunch; presentation

Got to have lunch today with Sian L. Beilock from the University of Chicago. She is an educational researcher who draws substantially from the cognitive science literature. We talked about her most recent work about a way of teaching physics using an embodied approach. Her work has showed that a physical experience of a directional force enhances understanding of the concept of vectors. 

Kontra, C., Lyons, D., Fischer, S. & Beilock, S.L. (in press). Physical experience enhances science learning. Psychological Science.

Trofatter, C., Kontra, C., Beilock, S.L., & Goldin-Meaow, S. (2015). Gesturing has a larger impact on problem-solving than action, even when action is accompanied by words. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 30,3. (PDF)

She also gave a talk to my department about math anxiety and math learning. In addition to the intuitive finding that math anxious students perform poorly, she also found that student performance in math is actually a function of the teacher's math anxiety!