Students learn more from teachers who hand-wave

Math teachers who wave their hands while talking in a way that illustrates a point differently from their words impart more information to their students. The UChicago researchers determined that students whose teachers hand-wave learn more, and that when the hand-gestures illustrated a point to one side of the main point, they did even better.
As part of the experiment students had to complete the equation “7+6+5=?+5”. Teachers told the youngsters that they had to make one side of the equation match the other side.

The gestures simply duplicating these directions involved the instructors pointing to the left-hand and then the right-hand sides of the equation. When using complementary gestures, however, the teachers pointed to each of the numbers on the left and then signalled the subtraction of the five on the right side by scooping their hand away from the number.