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Gestures in the classroom

Fankhauser, Regula; Kaspar, Angela (2022). Gestures in the classroom. In: Kraus, Anja; Wulf, Christoph (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Embodiment and Learning (pp. 163-177). London: Palgrave Macmillan

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Gestures play an important role in the everyday life of schools. Ritualised, institution-specific gestures such as pupils raising their hands serve the purpose of confirming the demands and norms of the school as an institution. In addition, there are many physical expressions whose meaning is unclear. Their semantics are doubly unstable: firstly, it is open to interpretation whether an action in the classroom is perceived as clear and not ambiguous, and secondly, it is unclear whether a gesture can be seen as intentionally disruptive.

This chapter investigates how and why a pupil’s gestures are interpreted as disruptive by a teacher and what explanatory paradigms are applied in doing so. The analysis shows the ways in which student gestures are understood as symbols of a world outside education.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)

PHBern Contributor:

Fankhauser, Regula




Palgrave Macmillan


[14 s 005 01] Achtung Auftritt! Lehrpersonen im Fokus der Performativität Official URL




Jessica Brunner

Date Deposited:

31 Jan 2023 14:20

Last Modified:

27 Apr 2023 10:41

Publisher DOI:


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