Tuesday, December 06, 2011

hand and eye...

There is evidence linking exploration by the hands to the development of intellectual grasp of physical reality. Lederman and Katsky:
"...carried out seminal work on exploratory procedures, classifying typical hand movements into six types (lateral motion, pressure, static contact, holding, enclosure, and contour following) and characterizing each type based on factors such as compatibility with other EPs (exploratory procedures) and execution speed. Of particular interest for this study is their demonstration that the choice of EP determines the nature of the information which can be extracted about an object. For each EP, they estimated EP-to-property weightings which represent the extent to which an object property can be extracted using a given EP. For instance, lateral motion, a back-and-forth rubbing motion of the fingers over a surface, is best-suited for extracting texture, but provides little or no shape information. Enclosing objects in the hand provides information about global shape and texture, but little exact shape information. Contour-following provides access to texture and global shape, while also providing the most information about an object’s exact shape."
This paper may be a bit deep for many of my readers, but was sent to me by Dr. Frank Wilson, author of the Hand.

One of the things we need to be thinking about is how the hands interface physical reality in partnership with the eye. You will note in the above quote that the finger tips are good at sensing texture and temperature, but not shape. The back and forth rubbing motion of fingers is that which is used in the manipulation of tablets. But are we ignoring other important hand senses in our and our children's engagement with reality by giving them a steady diet of digital devices? The hands and eyes work in partnership. When flat screens meet iPads and we fail to engage the hands in the sensing of weight, scale and shape, what other things are we failing to offer?

There are tests that they give students to determine IQ, asking how is this our sensitivity to shape, and ability to interpret the meaning of shaped objects is related not only to the seeing of shape, but related also to the catalog of ideas of shape that have arrived within the brain by the handling of those shapes.

One more reason to make, fix and create...

Interesting op-ed piece in today's New York Times about the failure of sanctions-based No Child Left Behind Legislation.

No comments:

Post a Comment