Wittmann on conceptual blending in wave propagation

Michael C. Wittmann
Using conceptual blending to describe emergent meaning in wave propagation
Proceedings of the 2010 International Conference on the Learning Sciences

Students in interviews on a wave physics topic give answers through embodied actions which connect their understanding of the physics to other common experiences. When answering a question about wavepulses propagating along a long taut spring, students' gestures help them recruit information about balls thrown the air. I analyze gestural, perceptual, and verbal information gathered using videotaped interviews and classroom interactions. I use conceptual blending to describe how different elements combine to create new, emergent meaning for the students and compare this to a knowledge-in-pieces approach.