Present Poise In Momentum : Embodied learning of applied aesthetics in our sense of balance – a study about sensorial cultural use of balance

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Pedagogik och didaktikLinköpings universitet/Utbildningsvetenskap


The purpose of this study lies in investigating the embodied learning of applied aesthetics in our sense of balance in the educational space and how it can contribute to change one of a present major public health related problem, the problem of sedentary behaviour in school and society. The investigation is not an effect study, but aims to question our sensorial cultural practice of applied aesthetics, by looking at how we use our ability to balance in the educational space.  Introducing and including elements from the field of art, the aesthetics field of knowledge and life science, the question of acknowledging embodied learning is explored mainly in the sensorial cultural praxis of our ability to balance. Embodied praxis is represented by the Alexander Technique and Elsa Gindler’s concept, with relation to modern neuromechanics. An educational view of knowledge that unilaterally enhances and rewards abstraction as well as theoretical thinking, by validating matrices and merit points, creates unbalance. Treating this unbalance solely with physical exercises enhances the conflict of how to use learning time in school and seems not to lead to a solution. By seeing the educational space as a space of embodied practice the investigation is built around participants’ sense of balance in embodied learning during a school day. The established sensorial cultural practice of how we are using our sense of balance in movement responses is observed during a school day and in a complementary inquiry explored and discussed with the children. Also the time of sitting is measured. The qualitative analysis or reading in this research of embodied learning is done by analysing directions or pointing in poise in momentum for finding inclusive or exclusive corresponsive sensorial tendencies in relation to sensorial cultural practice, including individual, social and regulative aspects. The minor quantitative part in this investigation is looking at the time spent sitting during the school day in the given conditions for defining the pupils’ sedimentary behaviour. The found embodied learning was not noticably acknowledged and not commented by the teacher.  The learning sessions were varying in space, form and in their content. In spite of the attempt of the teacher to create moveability, the children were sitting 54%  or more of the day in school. Inclusive dynamic responsiveness gave ability to balance and promoted embodied learning. Isolated or excluded responsiveness did not noticably engage the sense of balance and did not promote embodied learning. It resulted into pointing or directing downwards and leaning forward, backward or inwards into supportive furniture in accordance with gravitation. The study finds that inclusive responsiveness increases aligned balancing in poise in momentum. In its conclusion the study recognizes the value and effect of physical activity, but argues that moving to be healthy is not effectively changing sedentary behaviour. It argues instead for embodied health sufficient moving on a general sensorial level.  To be able to use our sense of balance as function of intelligence, we still need to increase acknowledgment of our evolutionary inherited skill further.

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