Definition of Terms
In the work of embodied education there are a number of terms we use in particular ways that are central to this practice. These terms may have different meanings in other contexts so we define them here as we understand them. Although these definitions are our own words, they emerge out of engaging with a range philosophers and practitioners over many years of research. Visit references & attributions for further details.
experiential + movement-based + multi-sensory + poly-intelligent learning practices
Embodied education takes as its fundamental premise; human life is poly-intelligent, multi-sensory, omni-dimensional and imaginative. With this as our starting point, we investigate how humans can cultivate the capacity to learn and live as integrated, porous and fluid organisms. We recognise that humans are affected by life as a dynamic and ever changing force that moves through us, in us, as us. We observe how humans are a sophisticated composition of intelligent cells continuously in dynamic relationship with context - physical, energetic, imaginative, intellectual, spiritual and so on.
Embodied Education is thus an experiential, multi-sensory, movement-based process that generates ‘live knowing’. Informed by and designed to coordinate with the human organism, embodied education is quite literally an organic process which develops live.
Embodiment is the ongoing becoming of fundamentally self-organised, generative and creative existence. Human embodiment is life as human, composed of ever changing thoughts, feelings, sensations, perceptions, actions, and environments.
Embodiment practice is the capacity to consciously attune and respond to the multifarious moment by moment processes of human lived experience.
A kinesthetic activity is one that is a tactile, physical activity. Rather than listening to or watching demonstrations, one takes in information through touch and movement, engaging with material experientially. Within a learning scenario kinaesthetic practice refers to understanding and reasoning through actions and the consequences of these actions. A continuous stream of assessing and responding to ones environment occurs as the organism uses sense organs in muscles and other parts to feel positions, movements and other sensation based feedback and information.
Founder of Body-Mind Centering, Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen refers to the 'mind of the cells'. Drawing upon this work we recognise that cells of the human organism have an inherent intelligence and that, through attention training, this can be a point of awareness for an individual.
Live Knowing is the result of substantiating thoughts & concepts through kinaesthetic, multi-sensory, experiential inquiry. It requires repetition and is cumulative. A process in which learners come to know something through first hand experience - ‘fleshing out’ various permutations to provide a full or ‘whole’ picture over time inside the learning environment and their lives.
This is the craft itself and the crafting of, our work and practice as artists and educators in embodied education and performance. Regular and rigorous inquiry into somatic practices, improvisation, education, performance and sonic composition cultivates our artisanship. We are committed to exploring various access points for conversation and learning within the context of embodied practices by creating works for exhibition, live performance, artistic collaboration, and educational resources. We utilise our dispositional attributes as artists such as our capacity to observe, listen, experiment, explore, imagine, and play. We attune closely to ourselves, the world and others, and in so doing notice small things and envision new worlds. Central to our artisanship is a relational sensibility that thrives upon human connection.
We use this term as it can speak to the performative act of living and thus life's inherent and essential creativity. That any act is performative by virtue of it being an act that is carried out. We are therefore fusing creative practice with the very fabric of living, constructively de-compartmentalising the human organism if you will and refreshing perceptions of its innate and potent creative capacity.
A ‘mind-body split’ has dominated human vernacular, conceptual thinking and many educational systems for too long. To counter this state of play, Live Particle presents a ‘whole’ approach to learning that begins with the premise that we do not have a body, we are an integrated whole organism of which our physical form (commonly called our body) is a part. 'Whole' refers to the multiple intelligences and capacities that arise from our design and context.
This human experiential mode of being is many things and we have many ways of engaging with, learning about and knowing ourselves and our world. Because of this capacity for multiplicity we use the term ‘poly-intelligence’. We take ‘poly’ from the Greek polus meaning ‘many’ and use it to signify the multitude of human intelligences that operate simultaneously to constitute our lived experience.
We recognise that intelligence is a live process that requires multi-sensory inputs in a constant live-feed of information from all things in our environment. Over time, we synthesise and make meaning of things through our experience from moment to moment. Because of this immersive state we use the term 'omni-dimensional'. We take ‘omni’ from the Latin prefix meaning ‘all/everything/everywhere’ to signify the complexity of our organism amidst its immersive conditions, and to deliberately include the remarkable human capacity for imagining which plays a vital process in learning and action. We nod to capacities beyond how we scientifically define a human being. We exist on many planes both literally, figuratively, imaginatively and potentially. Live Particle Learning is not a closed circuit. Like Shakespeare's Hamlet, we recognise that "there are more things in heaven and earth ... than are dreamt of in our [your] philosophy".
Tensegrity is the dance between tension and release at play in physics and thus all organic structures. It sets up a conversation of force across a relational field; a cell, the lymphatic system, the bio-mechanic structure of the knee joint, trees, earth's weather patterns... A conversation in tone - efficiency, economy, ease and sustainability.