Body Awareness

Become aware of affective experiences in learning environments

The process of learning is not limited to the brain alone; the body, too, has a crucial part to play. The learning environment affects the body through physical responses, also known as affects, that determine such behavioural modes as the extent to which one is able to concentrate, communicate or grasp a learning concept. Despite being often overlooked, bodily experience has a substantial impact on one’s behaviour and learning.

Affect is a force within the biological, neurological or psychological makeup of a person that allows them to register a connection with another entity or the environment around them. This can manifest as a physical sensation like flushing of the skin before feeling embarrassed, or an intangible feeling that is difficult to express in words (Blackmann and Venn, in Coleman, 2016 p.17).

Despite this barrier to language, affect is a form of embodied knowledge that allows people to communicate their emotions to others. Affect is also “sticky,” meaning it has the ability to attach to people, objects and places, and persist over time (Ahmed, 2010).

Learning outcome

  • The student is able to notice and reflect on “affective experience” in their learning