Knowledge as a ‘Body Run’: Learning of Writing as Embodied Experience in Accordance with Merleau-Ponty’s Theory of the Lived Body

Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology 9 (1):1-8 (2009)
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Abstract

What significance does the body have in the process of teaching and learning? In what way can the thoughts of a contemporary junior-level teacher in this regard be connected to the theory of the lived body formulated by the French phenomenologist philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and vice versa? The aim of this paper is to illuminate, enable understanding and discuss the meaning of the body in the learning process, with specific focus on the learning of writing as embodied experience. In the process, the boundaries of learning are also explored. While understanding the significance both of learning as embodied experience and of the boundaries of learning is essential within the educational field, in this paper the discussion is limited to exploring how learning as embodied experience and the boundaries of learning can be viewed by taking Merleau-Ponty’s notions as theoretical starting points. In an attempt to answer the aim and connect the paper’s theoretical point of departure with a voice from a teacher, an interview with a junior-level teacher was conducted. The paper thus offers a theoretical contribution to the field of educational research, but one in which the theory is exemplified by, and connected to, a teacher’s voice. Accordingly, the paper concludes by summarising the common understandings of learning held theoretically by Merleau-Ponty and made real in the activities of the contemporary junior-level teacher.

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References found in this work

Phenomenology of perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1945 - Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: The Humanities Press. Edited by Donald A. Landes.
Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1945 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Donald A. Landes.
Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1962 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Donald A. Landes.
Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1945/1962 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Donald A. Landes.
Phenomenology of Perception.Aron Gurwitsch, M. Merleau-Ponty & Colin Smith - 1964 - Philosophical Review 73 (3):417.

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