Visual attention in teacher-student interaction: Gaze-tracking research in the context of collaborative mathematical problem solving

Mathematics and Science Education Research Seminar

This session by Eeva Haataja, University of Helsinki, reports on a mixed-method research which has been designed to investigate the relation between teachers and students’ visual attention and teachers’ scaffolding intentions, interpersonal classroom interaction, and teacher gestures. The data consisted of multiple mobile gaze tracking recordings and stationary classroom videos from three collaborative mathematical problem-solving lessons in Finnish lower secondary schools. Data analysis involves continuous coding on gaze dwells and classroom activity and interaction. The results show that the scaffolding intentions affect the teacher’s gaze targets and the creation of dyadic eye contacts with students, and there exists a complex relation between teachers’ interpersonal behavior and the occurrence of teacher-student eye contacts.

Eeva Haataja is a doctoral student at Faculty of Educational sciences in the University of Helsinki in Finland. She works in in field of mathematics education in MathTrack research project. In her PhD project, Eeva explores teacher-student interaction from the viewpoint of visual attention and nonverbal communication in the context for collaborative mathematical problem solving. Additionally, she is interested in social-emotional aspects of mathematical giftedness. Prior to this position at the University, Eeva used to work as an elementary school teacher in Finland. In addition to the research process, her work includes project organizing, guiding pre-service teacher training, and teaching mathematics education to elementary school teacher students.