embodied learning, documentation, psychology, theater, integrative learning


This study of an interdisciplinary learning community at Holyoke Community College, which combined adolescent psychology and theater, attempts to show that embodied learning is not only a valid means of knowledge production and integrative learning but can also function as a gateway to deeper integration of course material. The authors document instances of embodied learning with thick descriptions of student work derived from samples of student writing, presentations, seminaring, videotaped performances, and student self/peer assessments. While the findings reveal students were engaged in integrative learning of an embodied kind, the crucial intermediate steps such as improvisations and rehearsals that set the stage for embodiment were not documented. The authors conclude there is much to learn about the integrative function of embodied learning by examining everyday classroom transactions on the way to the final performance.

Patricia G. Sandoval is the Chair of Communication, Media, TheaterArt, Fine and Performing Arts at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Jack J. Mino is a Professor of Psychology at Holyoke Community College.