What happens to teaching when you consider the whole body (and not just “brains on sticks”)?
Starting from new research on the body—aptly summarized as “sitting is the new smoking”—Minding Bodies aims to help instructors improve their students’ knowledge and skills through physical movement, attention to the spatial environment, and sensitivity to humans as more than “brains on sticks.” It shifts the focus of adult learning from an exclusively mental effort toward an embodied, sensory-rich experience, offering new strategies to maximize the effectiveness of time spent learning together on campus as well as remotely.
Minding Bodies draws from a wide range of body/mind research in cognitive psychology, kinesiology, and phenomenology to bring a holistic perspective to teaching and learning. The embodied learning approaches described by Susan Hrach are inclusive, low-tech, low-cost strategies that deepen the development of disciplinary knowledge and skills. Campus change-makers will also find recommendations for supporting a transformational mission through an attention to students’ embodied learning experiences.
“For too long, faculty have only focused on the education of the mind, ignoring the importance of the body in that process. Susan Hrach’s book conveys an authentic sense of wonder and excitement about the topic, and it is a timely and relevant text for higher education faculty.”
Kathryn Byrnes, Bowdoin College