Non-verbal interaction and students’ visual engagement in mathematics and English classes
Background: The interactions in the classroom are of particular interest to the teaching and learning processes. Objectives: This study examines nonverbal interaction in mathematics classrooms, and how different modes of nonverbal behaviour, contributed to the engagement in lessons. Design: A quantitative study. Setting and Participants: 30 randomly selected students wore mini camera-mounted eyeglasses in their mathematics and English lessons. Approximately 45 hours of video recording were made from these cameras (from a first-person’s perspective) to analyse and compare the nonverbal interaction in mathematics and English lessons. Data collection and analysis: In Google Images, we objectively searched and statistically analysed frames in which the class teachers appeared within the students’ visual field. Results: The results show that how students are visually engaged with the teacher depends on a set of proxemics. Differences were found related to visual attention both regarding the subject matter and the different proxemics of the student in relation to the teacher, pointing out that students are more visually involved with the teachers’ instructions when at a proxemic of 1.20 to 3.70 meters. Furthermore, we report differences between boys and girls and how they are visually engaged in their mathematics classrooms. Conclusions: Finally, we report how teachers pointing gestures can serve as a tool to recapture students’ visual attention in mathematics classrooms.