Reading, Writing, Technology, and Embodiment
Mangen, A., & Pirhonen, A. (2022). Reading, Writing, Technology, and Embodiment. In S. L. Macrine, & J. M. B. Fugate (Eds.), Movement Matters : How Embodied Cognition Informs Teaching and Learning (pp. 103-117). The MIT Press. https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/13593.003.0013
© 2022 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The insights emerging from embodied (or 4E) cognition (Newen, et al., 2018) hold considerable promise for education, but thus far have had little impact. The widespread implementation of digital technologies in classrooms presents a timely occasion to remedy this situation. The increasing abstraction entailed in the transition from pen and paper to keyboards, and from reading in print books to reading on screens, warrants supplementing extant perspectives on learning and technologies as they are currently represented in curricula and educational policy documents. This chapter helps educators to rethink and redefine the role and meaning of technology in education broadly speaking, and describes how the use of digital technologies in the acquisition of basic skills like reading and writing specifically impacts learning from an embodied perspective. Drawing on examples from Nordic school contexts, we illustrate how 4E cognition can be pursued to benefit the learning experience in our digital age. For us, as human beings, the skills of reading and writing are not innate — meaning, there is no genetic blueprint for reading or writing (Wolf et al., 2012). Whereas children normally develop the ability to speak and communicate by means of language socialization, both reading and writing require systematic training over an extended period of time to develop. Helping children learn to read and write is one of the major tasks of basic education. A recent study using functional magnetic resonance imaging found that both reading and writing are multisensory experiences (Smith et al., 2018). Yet the ongoing digitalization poses new challenges for researchers and schools concerned with students’ literacy skills. As advances in technology in classroom applications become more mainstream, the way in which children engage in reading and writing is changing. Therefore, we argue that the theory of embodied cognition (4E) should be acknowledged when considering the strengths and weaknesses of various technologies in supporting different aspects of reading (e.g., low-level processes such as letter-sound correspondences, and high-level processes such as inference-based comprehension skills) and writing. ...
PublisherThe MIT Press
Parent publication ISBN978-0-262-54348-4
Is part of publicationMovement Matters : How Embodied Cognition Informs Teaching and Learning
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