A study of the effect of sensorimotor experiences on the retention and application of two fundamental physics ideas

  • Yannis Hadzigeorgiou
  • Mike Savage


The primary objective of this study was to investigate whether sensorimotor experiences can help young students ages 9 to 10 to construct a mental model involving a relationship between the speed of the molecules of a substance and its temperature. The sample consisted of 86 children who were randomly assigned to two groups. The children of the first group were presented with photographs and animated pictures regarding the motion of “little balls”—the molecules—in various contexts, while the children of the other group participated in sensorimotor activities regarding the same contexts. For the assessment of children’s understanding, six tasks involving visual material (photographs and animated pictures) were used. This procedure took place one week after the treatment and again four weeks later. The significant difference that was found through a t-test between the two groups on both occasions, the correlation coefficients between the scores on the two tests for both groups, and the effect sizes provide support for the effectiveness of the treatment based on sensorimotor activities as far as the development of the aforementioned relationship is concerned. Further research is warranted to confirm whether these findings can be generalized over to other populations and other science concepts.


Language Symbolic Representation Sensorimotor Activity Sensorimotor Experience Inference Learning Animated Picture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationUniversity of the AegeanRhodesGreece
  2. 2.University of LeedsEngland

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