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ERIC Number: EJ832900
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1683-1381
Learning, Difference, Embodiment: Personal and Collective Transformations
Mathew, Ann; Ng, Roxana; Patton, Mary; Waschuk, Lesia; Wong, Joanne
New Horizons in Education, v56 n1 p43-61 May 2008
Background: This paper is based on a graduate course entitled, "Toward an integrative approach to equity in higher education" offered at a Canadian university for the first time in 2002. The course attempted to integrate critical pedagogy theories with notions of embodied learning in order to develop an integrative praxis of educational equity. The paper discusses the unique learning processes undertaken by the authors, including the instructor. Focus of discussion and arguments: The paper documents four students' learning journeys, which varied according to their racialized, class, and prior educational backgrounds, social positioning, and professions. It is organized around two major themes. The first theme that unites their learning experience, ironically, is their different perceptions and experiences of the course. Difference thus became a point of convergence and unification. Another major feature concerns their understanding, incorporation and resistance of the idea and practice of embodiment. The instructor argues that in spite of their apparent divergence, what unifies western liberal, progressive and radical education is their overriding focus on developing the learner's intellectual skills. The privileging of the intellect, simplistically equated with the mind, over the body-spirit, has led to a bifurcation of theory and practice. An integrative approach attempts to hold the mind, body and spirit in balance in the learning process. She argues that social change is only possible when learners are able to confront their own beliefs and actions with compassion and without judgment. Conclusion: The authors conclude that learning is an open and indeterminate process that cannot be prescribed. Much of what they learned arose out of disagreement, discomfort and tension. Being attentive to the sense, both physical and emotional, of tension and discomfort constitutes the turning point of the authors' collective learning journey. (Contains 7 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada