Theoretical Perspectives on the Body in Education
PhD course, 3 credits
The course is organized in collaboration between the Nordic Network for Researcher in Cultural, Political and Social Perspectives on Science Education (CPSSE) at Malmö University, and the doctoral program "Health Education, Organisations and Ethics" at the Faculty of School in Medicine, Biomedical Science and Technology.
That thinking and learning happen in the mind, and that the body has no role to play in human thinking and thus learning is an assumption under revision. From embodied cognition to recent post-human neo materialism, a diversity of theoretical perspectives claim that body and mind are inseparable and that human thinking is rooted in both. Such an assumption has several implication for research in all fields of Educational research.
The course intends to explore two contemporary theoretical perspectives that give an account of the centrality of the body for understanding human thinking, and their implications for educational research, in particular in the fields of the natural, health and sport sciences.
Elizabeth de Freitas will present one approach that draws on the work of philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Karen Barad. She sees the body in education as an indeterminate process of provisionally assembling human and non-human agents as learning assemblages. These unstable assemblages capture various objects —pencil, interactive board, chair, diagram, word— as well as various affective and emotional forces. The individuation of the human is put into play, since the human body is configured as a set of relational intensities. This approach allows her to study how concepts (from curriculum, for instance) are entangled in the process of becoming a learning assemblage. At the same time, one has to study the particular configurations of the assemblage for the way it is oriented in relation to the forces that sustain or diminish its duration. In attending to the particular orientations of the human body (the positioning of the body-subject), this approach also aims to show how studying sense and sensation (in the classroom, for instance) allows me to address the micro-political facets of education.
Marie Öhman will present a perspective about how the body is part of a socio-political context. Her point of departure is Michel Foucault's work on power and control that is used to examine how governing processes emerge in teaching practice. She is interested in Foucault's notion of governmentality and biopower, raising questions about how subjects and their bodies are conducted in advanced liberal societies. She is PhD in Sociology and Associate Professor in Sport Science at the School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. Öhman has worked as a teacher educator in physical education since 1993 and is now funded by the Swedish Research Council in different projects. Her main area of research is observational studies in physical education and by drawing on Michel Foucault’s work several publications have focused on questions of body, health, socialisation, power relations and governing processes. In a resent project, “No Touching”, Öhman deals with how public discourses concerning the ´Politics of touch´ and ´Child Protection´ influence teachers' pedagogical work in physical education.
Associate Professor Malin Ideland and Associate Professor Claes Malmberg, Malmö University
Associate Professor Kathrin Otrel-Cass and Professor Paola Valero, Aalborg University.
For contacts about the course e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Associate Professor Elizabeth de Freitas, Adelphi University, USA (http://www.adelphi.edu/faculty/profiles/profile.php?PID=0380)
Associate Professor Marie Öhman, Örebro University, Sweden (http://www.oru.se/ihm/marie_ohman)
Time: October 8th to 10th 2013
Place: Aalborg University, Aalborg Campus
Number of seats: 30
Deadline for registration: September 15, 2013
VERY IMPORTANT information concerning PhD courses
We have over some time experienced problems with no-show for both project and general courses. It has now reached a point where we are forced to take action. Therefore, the Doctoral School has decided to introduce a no-show fee of DKK 5,000 for each course where the student does not show up. Cancellations are accepted no later than 2 weeks before start of the course. Registered illness is of course an acceptable reason for not showing up on those days. Furthermore, all courses open for registration approximately three months before start. This can hopefully also provide new students a chance to register for courses during the year. We look forward to your registrations.
1. Trajectories into the body, thinking and education
The intention of this block is coming close to the life history of the guest lecturers. Each one has built a particular position to study educational phenomena. Such positioning is not independent of their life as a whole. We invite them to present a reflection on how and why they have come to get interest in the types of research and approaches they focus on.
10:00 Welcome and introduction to the course
11.30 Students' individual work on the course topic in relation to their project. Poster on their project
Preparation: one page poster with your project.
2. Theoretical toolboxes on the body in education
The general intention of this block is for the guest lecturers to share their theoretical perspectives and engage in a discussion of the main tenets and concepts to talk about how body, thinking and learning are related. The day will bring different forms for interaction among participants and with the guest lecturers.
13:30 Elizabeth's theoretical toolbox
14:30 Discussion of texts
9:00 Collecting thoughts and questions on theoretical toolboxes
3. The study of the body in education
The general intention of this block is to engage in a discussion of the methodological aspects of doing research with such theoretical tools and for such purposes. The day will bring different forms for interaction among participants and with the guest lecturers.
13:00 Examples by Marie and Elizabeth
15:30 Participants have the opportunity of discussing Liz and Marie's methodological approaches.
16:00 End of the session
9:00 Relation to projects. Work in afinitity groups and discuss methodology and raise one issue to the lecturers
4. Challenges to the future of research
13:30 Back to individual projects
15:30 End of the course
The general intention of the block is to discuss further perspectives for the work in analyzing and theorizing the connection of body in learning in education. This block gathers the reflections of the three previous blocks.
The course demands students' active participation. Preparation for the course is a requisite for participation. Therefore students are requested to prepare the compulsory readings available at the course website. The course is organised around a variety of activities, which intend to provide a diversity of exchange spaces between lecturers and students, as well as among students:
· Presentations of main issues : The lecturers will introduce main concepts and ideas for discussion based on a selection of compulsory readings. During the four days of the course the lectures will present their reflections on each of the questions formulated above.
· Participants’ group work: Participants will be given different tasks that they will develop in groups during the course. The intention of the tasks is to provide participants with an opportunity of gaining insight in the meaning of the concepts at stake during the course, as well as of facilitating exchange and sharing of knowledge among participants and lecturers.
· Participants’ presentations : Participants will have a chance to present parts of their project and receive feedback on his/her PhD project.
1. Bennett, J. (2010). Vibrant matter: a political ecology of things. Durham: Duke University Press.
2. Deleuze, G. (2004). Francis Bacon: the logic of sensation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
3. Foucault, M. (1976/1980). Two lectures. In C. Gordon (Ed.),Power/knowledge. Selected interviews & Other Writings 1972-1977 (p.78–108). New York: Pantheon.
4. Foucault, M. (1976/1980). Body/Power. In C. Gordon (Ed.), Power/knowledge. Selected interviews & Other Writings 1972-1977 (p. 55–62). New York: Pantheon.
5. Foucault M. (1982/2002). The subject and power. I J. D. Faubion (Ed.),Essential Works of Foucault 1954–1984, Volym 3, Power (p. 326–348). London:Penguin Books.
6. Freitas, E., & Sinclair, N. (2012). Diagram, gesture, agency: theorizing embodiment in the mathematics classroom. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 80(1-2), 133-152. doi: 10.1007/s10649-011-9364-8
7. Freitas, E., & Sinclair, N. (2013). New materialist ontologies in mathematics education: the body in/of mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 83(3), 453-470. doi: 10.1007/s10649-012-9465-z
8. Anna Cutler and Iain MacKenzie (2011). Bodies of Learning. In Guillaume, L., & Hughes, J. Deleuze and the body (p. 53-72). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
9. McCuaig, Louise, Öhman, Marie & Wright, Jan (2011). Shepherds in theGym: Employing a pastoral power analytic on caring teaching in HPE.Sport, Education and Society. http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions
10. Serres, M. (2011). Variations on the body. Minneapolis, MN: Univocal Pub.
11. Öhman, Marie (2010): Analysing the Direction of Socialisation from a Power Perspective. Sport, Education & Society, 15(4), 393409.
12. Öhman, Marie & Quennerstedt, Mikael (2008): Feel Good Be Good: subject content and governing processes in physical education. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 13(4), 365380