This book aims to define new theoretical, practical, and methodological directions in educational research centered on the role of the body in teaching and learning. Based on our phenomenological experience of the world, it draws on perspectives from arts-education and aesthetics, as well as curriculum theory, cultural anthropology and ethnomusicology. These are arenas with a rich untapped cache of experience and inquiry that can be applied to the notions of schooling, teaching and learning. The book provides examples of state-of-the-art, empirical research on the body in a variety of educational settings. Diverse art forms, curricular settings, educational levels, and cultural traditions are selected to demonstrate the complexity and richness of embodied knowledge as they are manifested through institutional structures, disciplines, and specific practices. This volume is of interest to faculty and graduate students in Educational Philosophy and Policy Studies, Curriculum and Instruction and Special Education as well as in Music, Visual Art, Dance and Drama Education.
From the reviews:
"Bresler both informs and provokes questions about how we should understand the dualism of and relationship between mind and body a ] . This exciting book not only unveils a range of philosophical perspectives a ] it essentially provides understandings about the nature and role of the body in the processes of education. a ] This timely and much welcomed book is destined to become influential a ] . Teachers, students and researchers alike may utilise this book as an extremely useful resource." (Pamela Burnard and Penelope Best, British Journal of Music Education, Vol. 22 (1), 2005)
Knowing Bodies, Moving Minds: Towards Embodied Teaching and Learning
Edited by Liora Bresler
Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004
Pages: 223; Price: $149.00 (hard cover); $44.00 (soft cover)
The reader is presented with many choices in approaching Knowing Bodies, Moving Minds, this smorgasbord of edited writings about embodiment. This research-based, and research directed volume edited by Liora Bresler, includes ideas about embodiment from the fields of dance education, music education, art education, early childhood education, physical education and philosophy of education. A running theme through many of the articles is the work of Michel Foucault. The reader can use this as a volume that contributes to the understanding of Foucaulta (TM)s work, or as an invitation to explore Foucault directly. Either way, it is clear that his writing is integral in entering the discussion of embodiment.
As this is an edited volume, it is not necessary to read it cover to cover to engage in the ideas. The reader can choose those articles that appeal most directly, and skim otherarticles for new ideas, or perspectives. This book is divided into two parts: Cultural and Philosophical Contexts for Embodied Knowledge in Education; and The Body in Educational Settings.
Here is a table of contents, for those wishing to "shop" this volume for specific ideas:
A- Education and the Philosophy of the Body: Bodies of Knowledge and Knowledges of the Body
A- Cognition and the Body: Perspectives of Music Education
A- Somaesthetics and Education: Exploring the Terrain
A- Embodied Movement Knowledge in Fitness and Exercise Education
A- The Changing Body in Southern Africaa "A Perspective from Ethnomusicology
A- Frog Boy and the American Monkey: The Body in Japanese Early Schooling
A- The Disappearance of The Body in Early Childhood education
A- Dancing the Curriculum: Exploring the Body and Movement in Elementary Schools
A- My Body/Myself: Lessons from Dance Education
A- The Instructable Body: Student Bodies From Classrooms to Prisons
A- The Apprenticeship of Embodied Knowledge in a Taiko Drumming Ensemble
A- Embodied Knowledge: Possibilities and Constrains in Arts Education and Curriculum
A- Exercise: Identity Collage
According to Bresler, "Embodiment can be defined as the a ~integration of the physical or biological body and the phenomenal or experiential bodya ].a (TM)" As this word is so useful in the field of dance education, it is also critical to define what we mean by embodiment. This volume expands on those definitions from these multiple perspectives.
On some levels each chapter in this volume repeats the same definitions of embodiment, yet each author adds a new dimension or way to consider embodiment by entering thediscussion from a new perspective. The result is a rich and multi-layered description that can be used and applied in different contexts. The sub-text of mind/body is treated in many different ways. The most quotable is: "The body is minded, the mind is embodied, and both body and mind are culturally-mediated."
Many chapters in this book are not appropriate for the undergraduate student, but several selected chapters can be used within that curriculum. This volume is best suited for graduate students who are research directed and seeking grounding and context for their research ideas. Many aspects can be used as advocacy as they continually make a case for embodiment within the curriculum. Overall there are many specific courses that would benefit from this book, or it can be used as a general reference. In any regard, no dance education curriculum should be without it.
Reviewed by Susan R. Koff, Ed.D.