Embodiment in Digital Pedagogy

DPL 2021 Tracks Oct 03, 2020

As digital and hybrid pedagogies have proliferated in the COVID-era, the spaces in which learning happens have changed; the relationship between our bodies and our pedagogies is fundamentally altered. More of us sit in front of a computer, for more hours a day, more days a week, as a necessary part of the pedagogic process. We feel the effects of this shift and our present moment in our bodies: from the visual and postural demands of increased screen-time, to the physical and emotional effects of long-term isolation, social injustice, and environmental disasters. Our pedagogies feel the strain as well, as we struggle to find connection with students asynchronously and stretch to find a feeling of “normal” interaction in synchronous classes. bell hooks says that, “Being comes from the body. And if we listen to our bodies inside the classroom and out we learn more ways to relate to one another.”  Taking the perspective that engaging our bodies and students' bodies allows for more humanistic pedagogies built on student-teacher relationships, this course considers notions of embodiment in spaces of digital learning as a means to that end.

This course is for educators of any subject matter or any age group. Participants will identify one course to revise through an embodied lens. While the work will be mostly individual, there will be opportunities for practice, reflection, collaboration, and feedback. No prior movement training is needed for participation. This course welcomes participants of all abilities.

Some questions this course will address are:

  • How can we come to learn about students in and through their bodies in digital spaces?
  • How do we negotiate our pedagogic presence and identity in and through our bodies in digital spaces?
  • What might embodied learning possibilities look like in both physical classrooms and digital ones? How do we move, physically, in and through these spaces?
  • How do our bodies affect our learning? How might another’s body affect their learning?
  • As educators, how might explicit acknowledgment of the body in our pedagogies help us create more inclusive learning environments?
  • How might we re-envision some of our existing teaching practices and pedagogic philosophies to acknowledge our embodied selves in the learning process?

Faculty

Jessica Zeller
Jessica Zeller is an Associate Professor of Dance in the TCU School for Classical & Contemporary Dance.
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