ERG SES H 10, Transition and Education
Following the theme of the ECER 2015 – “Education and Transition. Contributions from Educational Research” – I will present what I think to be two important transitions that might have a huge impact on educational science in the near future.
The first one is the so-called “Embodied Theory” (Gallagher & Zahavi 2008; Thompson 2007; Varela et al. 1991). It is an innovative philosophical and scientific approach that derives from the encounter of phenomenology, cognitive science and Eastern tradition. It offers a new perspective on the nature and function of mind, reconsidering the body-mind problem and re-evaluating the role of bodily and subjective experience. Its presence and role, however, has not yet been taken into consideration by Educational Science, at least not in any extensive or fundamental way. Indeed, the educational literature on Embodiment is still in its infancy and so far, very little has been done regarding the possible convergence of EC and Educational Science (Francesconi 2009; 2010; Gallagher & Francesconi, 2012).
The second transition relates to Wellbeing Theories and Quality of Life Approaches (Kahneman et al, 2003; Nusbaum & Sen, 1993). Broadly defined, the concept of Wellbeing refers to optimal psycho-physical functioning and experience (Ryan & Deci, 2001). In my paper, I will discuss the concept of Subjective Wellbeing, and more specifically the Eudaimonic Subjective Wellbeing (ESW, Lee & Carey, 2013), which, in my opinion, is of great interest for Educational Research. The attention given to the concept of Wellbeing is indeed rapidly growing within institutional, governmental and academic agendas and it will surely have an important impact on future educational policies and practices.
Together with the audience, I will discuss what Educational Science can say about these paradigmatic and conceptual transitions, and which ideas should emerge from the educational fields, both academic and professional, in terms of critics and proposals.
Educational Science should not only accept the challenge coming from Embodiment and Wellbeing theories, but it should lead the debate in consideration of two main points: the strict co-dependence of education/learning and wellbeing; b) the crucial role that can be played by the pedagogical declination of the concept Wellbeing, that is Eudaimonia.
Francesconi D. (2009). Embodied mind between education and cognitive sciences: Bodily consciousness and meditation training. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, v. 4 (10), pp. 19-28. Francesconi D., (2010). The Embodied Mind: Mindfulness Meditation as Experiential Learning in Adult Education. Ph.D. thesis, University of Trento. Francesconi D., Tarozzi M. (2012). Embodied Education: A Convergence of Phenomenological Pedagogy and Embodiment, Studia Phaenomenologica, v. 12, pp. 263-288. Gallagher S. & Francesconi D. (2012). Teaching Phenomenology to Qualitative Researchers, Cognitive Scientist, Phenomenologists, Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, v. XII, pp. 263-288. Gallagher S., and Zahavi D. (2008). The Phenomenological Mind. An introduction to philosophy of mind and cognitive science, London: Routledge, 2008. Kahneman, D., Diener, E., & Schwarz, N. (Eds.). (2003). Well-Being: Foundations of Hedonic Psychology. New York: Russell Sage Foundation Publications. Lee, E., & Carey, T. (2013). Eudaimonic well-being as a core concept of positive functioning. MindPad, Winter 2013, 17-20 Nussbaum, M., & Sen, A. (Eds.). (1993). The Quality of Life. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/0198287976.001.0001/acprof-9780198287971 Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2001). On happiness and human potentials: A review of research onhedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 141–166. Thompson E. (2007). Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Varela F. J., Thompson E., & Rosch E., (1991). The Embodied Mind. Cognitive Science and Human Experience. MIT Press: Cambridge (MA).
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