Publication 3842

Stolz S. A. (2015) Embodied learning. Educational Philosophy and Theory 47(5): 474–487. Fulltext at
This article argues that psychological discourse fails miserably to provide an account of learning that can explain how humans come to understand, particularly understanding that has been grasped meaningfully. Part of the problem with psychological approaches to learning is that they are disconnected from the integral role embodiment plays in how I perceive myself, other persons and other things in the world. In this sense, it is argued that a central tenet of any educational learning involves being taught to perceive, come to know ourselves and the world around us. This may seem like stating the obvious, but there is a general tendency to take the experience of perception for granted. Since phenomenology according to Merleau-Ponty recognises that perceptual experience is the basis of ‘all rationality’ makes it particularly apt for explaining the significant role embodiment plays in understanding what has been learned, and understanding that has been grasped meaningfully. What makes this account of embodied learning educationally significant is that the whole person is treated as a whole being, permitting the person to experience him or herself as a holistic and synthesised acting, feeling, thinking being-in-the-world, rather than as separate physical and mental qualities which bear no relation to each other.

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