Embodied Cognition, Embodied Learning

New Books Network Interview

In Movement Matters: How Embodied Cognition Informs Teaching and Learning (MIT, 2022), Sheila L. Macrine (Professor in Cognitive Science, UMass Dartmouth) and Jennifer M. B. Fugate (Associate Professor in Health Psychology, Kansas City University) bring together experts to translate the latest findings on embodied cognition to inform teaching and learning pedagogy.

Embodied cognition represents a radical shift in conceptualizing cognitive processes, in which cognition develops through mind-body environmental interaction. If this supposition is correct, then the conventional style of instruction—in which students sit at desks, passively receiving information—needs rethinking. Movement Matters considers the educational implications of an embodied account of cognition, describing the latest research applications from neuroscience, psychology, and cognitive science and demonstrating their relevance for teaching and learning pedagogy.

After a discussion of the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of embodied cognition, contributors to the book describe its applications in language, including the areas of handwriting, vocabulary, language development, and reading comprehension; STEM areas, emphasizing finger counting and the importance of hand and body gestures in understanding physical forces; and digital learning technologies, including games and augmented reality. Finally, they explore embodied learning in the social-emotional realm, including how emotional granularity, empathy, and mindfulness benefit classroom learning.

Movement Matters introduces a new model, translational learning sciences research, for interpreting and disseminating the latest empirical findings in the burgeoning field of embodied cognition. The book provides an up-to-date, inclusive, and essential resource for those involved in educational planning, design, and pedagogical approaches.

Alice Garner is a historian, teacher and performer with a PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia.


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