Learning Bodies

Learning Bodies

Learning Bodies

Learning Bodies

Synopsis

Is the body a mere container of learning processes? Or can we, in a productive way, develop an approach to learning that includes learning as a bodily phenomenon? The authors all work with the development or refinement of theories of 'learning bodies', and in this anthology they present the state of the art to anybody with an interest in current scientific discussions about the interplay between body, movement and learning. A full understanding of learning in all its complexity requires that the body is taken into account - regardless of whether we are dealing with the neurological foundations of learning processes, skill acquisition, mental health and illness, aesthetics or the physical setting where the learning takes place. Body, movement and senses (in short: corporeality), provide the necessary experiences for change and development in relation to life-long learning. This anthology presents a range of theoretical approaches to learning; neuroscience, psychiatry, sociology, psychology, phenomenology and pedagogy. By presenting this range of approaches, the anthology raises a central question in the philosophy of science: the need for incorporation of different approaches to achieve further insights. The first section of the book, The learning body, concerns the learning process from a psychological, neuroscience and phenomenological point of view. In part two, The encultured body, gender and aesthetics will be analysed in relation to the body and the community of practice. The third section, The educated body, sheds light on various aspects of the body in educational contexts and different body-related conditions for learning. The anthology is of particular interest to researchers and students of education, development and psychology, and to those interested in body and movement, both biomedical and the relation to social science and the humanities.

Excerpt

This anthology presents a multiplicity of theoretical and disciplinary perspectives, by authors, all engaged in the development or refinement of theories of learning bodies. Therefore, aspects of learning bodies are the common element in the chapters of this anthology. First of all, the idea of the body as a container is challenged, not to say left behind, while other ways of thinking and conceptualising are invented/presented. Furthermore, the common concept, which is meant to bind this anthology together, is learning, but not as a homogeneous and explicit understanding, but as a multitude of manysided interpretations of both body and learning. It is a shared opinion of all of the authors that learning is not reducible to a pure cognitive or even neurological process, that learning embraces far more than a transfer of knowledge, and that learning concerns not only the cognitive domain, but also other domains like emotion, personality and identity as well as social and cultural processes. Whether we are dealing with such many-sided issues as the neurological foundations of learning processes, skill acquisition, mental health and illness, aesthetics or the physical space where learning is going on, you never will get to the complexity of ‘the matter’ unless you keep the body in mind. Not only as a biological system, but as the genuine and holistic manner how humans are related, or embedded, in the physical and social world. Body, movement and senses, i.e. corporeality, provide the necessary experiences for change and development in a life long learning perspective.

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