University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

More gestures than answers: Children learning about balance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • K. Pine
  • N. Lufkin
  • D.J. Messer
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1059-1067
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Journal publication date2004
Publication statusPublished - 2004


This research extends the range of domains within which children's gestures are found to play an important role in learning. The study involves children learning about balance and we locate children's gestures within a relevant model of cognitive development, the Representational Redescription Model (Karmiloff-Smith, 1992). We examined the speech and gestures of children explaining a balance task. Approximately one third of the children expressed one idea in speech and another in gesture. These children made significantly more learning gains than children whose gestures and speech matched. Children's gestures were an indicator, at pre-test, of readiness to learn and of cognitive gains. We conclude that children's gestures provide crucial insight into their cognitive state and illuminate the process of learning and representational change.


' This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.'--Original article can be found at: American Psychological Association

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