Art, Affect, and Embodied Learning

The classroom is often thought of solely as a space for the mind, emphasizing the intellectual aspects of learning. Minds, however, don’t enter into instructional spaces separated from bodies. Bodies come shaped by and grounded in experiences and histories that have sensory and emotional valences and social dimensions. These aspects also can shape how we and our students experience the classroom and form our attitudes and approaches toward teaching and learning. They may manifest in how open a student may feel towards certain subjects and strategies, in who chooses to speak or remain quiet in class, and in what methods an instructor may use or choose to avoid in their classrooms.

Join TLC staff for a workshop on Tuesday, October 22 at 4pm where we will explore the roles of affect, emotion, and embodiment in how we teach and how we learn. We will look at this in relation to being a student–both in our roles as students ourselves and those of our students. We will also explore how it shapes our practices as instructors, and the types of spaces and opportunities for learning that we facilitate. Attendees will leave this workshop with a clearer sense of how sensitivity to affect and embodiment may open up additional possibilities for teaching and learning, with special attention to how arts-based methods can help with this work in the classroom.

The Art, Affect, and Embodied Learning workshop was offered as as an in-person workshop at the Graduate Center, CUNY in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020. The workshop and materials were developed by Mei Ling Chua.

Workshop Materials

This folder contains outreach materials, workshop plans and slides, and a handout about ethical tech lingo used in the workshop. Materials are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA) 4.0 International Public License.

Materials Folder: Art, Affect, and Embodied Learning Workshop

Workshop Plan: Spring 2019

0:00-0:15 Intro

  • Orient: OG with art, but then became apparent while thinking about workshop that there was stuff that needed to come before, workshop intention is more exploratory, to make a space to think these topics together
  • phone image prompt icebreaker.
  • attention,attunement…process of experiencing and eating a hershey’s kiss (or something mundane) when frame slowed to encourage the noticing.., (or if cant eat it… the experience of being left out, not doing…)
  • shining video

0:15-1:00 Definitions: maybe fuzziness is a feature and not a fault of complex ideas and multitude of positions (thanks Redstrom, 2017)

  • * everyone gets a sheet with a different term on it, 2 mins per word, then rotate until everyone has encountered each term.
    • terms: art, aesthetics, affect, emotion, embodied, sense/sensory/sensible. sense /feeling mind/body, nature/nurture, knowledge, theory, learning
    • question/prompt per cycle (each person encounters a term with the prompt of that time cycle… so looking at diff part)
      • Define/how do the terms interact/relate if multiple
      • Do you agree/disagree with this definition? Why?
      • What is missing?
      • What would you add?
      • What is another definition/understanding of the term?
      • Alt uses/positions/understandings?
      • Open engagement
  • discuss terms and how they show up/ have been experienced in the classroom.
    • incl time to reread/revisit sheets

1:00-1:30 Affect effects attitudes: Social Reflexivity Maps

  • 3 step maps ( 3 or 4 mins per step) one cycle each do individually for self:
    • Step 1: (biggest boxes): explicit look at social identity (given: class, citizenship, ability, age/generation, race, sexual orientation, cis/trans, gender) (could add: immigration status, religion, relationship status, employment status, political affiliation, commitment to social change
    • Step 2: (smaller boxes branch off biggest) go beyond these groupings, identify how these positions impact their lives/experiences in the classroom (how do these positions help/hinder/shape experience in classroom, as student? As instructor?)
    • Step 3: smallest… reflect further and  identify emotions, what
  • discuss the experience of self and also group talk of the potential steps for our students…

1:30-1:50 Class Art Integrate

  • the game: classroom topic/subject, affective/embodied mode, artistic practice/ medium
    • group generated, have blank sheets asking for  one of the three prompts
    • do in groups/pairs