Body as Prism: Somatic Pedagogy in the Development of Embodied Ecological Awareness


  • Cassandra Marie Witteman Lakehead University


The body is the precondition of any meaning-laden space of learning. As we are located in environments frothing with life, we engage in meaning making through and with the senses of the body, engaging in the creation of scaffoldings of symbolic, rhizomatic understandings by which we navigate our worlds. Thus, I argue that our embodied subjective lives serve as the boundary through which we emerge into an awareness of our place within a network of moving connections. Situating the argument against the mystic poetry of Jal l ad-D n Muhammad R m and the animist philosophy of Isabelle Strengers, I argue that in grounding our educational practices within the body, we have the potential to learn in a way that is more meaningful, personal, and relevant to the subjective process of discovery. Résumé Sans le corps, il n'y a pas place à l'apprentissage. Or, amenés à fréquenter des milieux pleins de vie, nous participons à la création de sens avec les organes sensoriels du corps, de même qu'à la construction de structures de compréhension symboliques et rhizomatiques qui nous orientent dans le monde. L'auteure avance donc que le corps, ce véhicule de nos expériences de vie subjectives, constitue une frontière qui ouvre vers une prise de conscience de notre place dans un réseau de connexions dynamiques. S'inscrivant en faux contre la poésie mystique de Jal l ad-D n Muhammad R m et la philosophie animiste d'Isabelle Strengers, elle affirme qu'à l'aide de pratiques pédagogiques axées sur le corps, l'apprentissage serait plus pertinent et personnel, et mieux adapté à la subjectivité du processus de découverte.

Author Biography

Cassandra Marie Witteman, Lakehead University

Cassandra is a Masters Student in Education at Lakehead Universitys Orillia Campus. They are a practicing artist, dancer, and poet, as well as being involved in grass-roots activism, non-hierarchical practice, and transformative justice.