Recombinant Enaction: Manipulatives Generate New Procedures in the Imagination, by Extending and Recombining Action Spaces

Cognitive Science 42 (2):370-415 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Manipulation of physical models such as tangrams and tiles is a popular approach to teaching early mathematics concepts. This pedagogical approach is extended by new computational media, where mathematical entities such as equations and vectors can be virtually manipulated. The cognitive and neural mechanisms supporting such manipulation-based learning—particularly how actions generate new internal structures that support problem-solving—are not understood. We develop a model of the way manipulations generate internal traces embedding actions, and how these action-traces recombine during problem-solving. This model is based on a study of two groups of sixth-grade students solving area problems. Before problem-solving, one group manipulated a tangram, the other group answered a descriptive test. Eye-movement trajectories during problem-solving were different between the groups. A second study showed that this difference required the tangram's geometrical structure, just manipulation was not enough. We propose a theoretical model accounting for these results, and discuss its implications.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 83,748

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Is Distributed Cognition Group level Cognition?Kirk Ludwig - 2015 - Journal of Social Ontology 1 (2):189-224.
Problem Solving and Situated Cognition.David Kirsh - 2009 - In Philip Robbins & M. Aydede (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 264--306.
Productive Failure in Learning Math.Manu Kapur - 2014 - Cognitive Science 38 (5):1008-1022.


Added to PP

21 (#572,587)

6 months
2 (#323,023)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?