The Extended Body in the Teaching-Learning Process

The Extended Body in the Teaching-Learning Process

Stefano Di Tore (University of Salerno, Italy), Paola Aiello (University of Salerno, Italy), Pio Alfredo Di Tore (University of Salerno, Italy) and Maurizio Sibilio (University of Salerno, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6102-8.ch014


This chapter focuses on the relationship between technology and education, starting from the consideration that the software design explicitly dedicated to the teaching-learning process is, for the most part, still anchored to a discreet information processing model. This model underestimates the role of the body and corporeality in the teaching and learning process and fails to capitalize on the potential offered by enactive interaction devices already present and widely used in schools and learning-dedicated centers. The opportunities offered by the NUIs in school contexts represent the natural consequence of an embodied and enactive approach to knowledge, valued in school contexts in which the skills of perception and the action are enhanced to foster learning.
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From Extended Mind To Extended Body

In the above mentioned work, it was argued by the same authors (Di Tore, Aiello, Di Tore, & Sibilio, 2012), that the central role played by corporeity and the body in the current cultural context is the result of two different lines, which have, throughout their history, large overlapping and contamination areas.

The first line started from the Mind – Body problem posed by the phenomenological perspective (Husserl, Merlau-Ponty…) and deepened by the theorization of embodiment in the field of cognitive sciences (Varela, Maturana, Lakoff…), gradually finding confirmation in experimental evidence that have identified the neural correlates of cognitive processes (Rizzolatti & Sinigaglia, 2006) and “progressively reducing the nomansland area determined by the distinction between res cogitans and res extensa” (Di Tore et al., 2012).

The second line follows McLuhan’s thought (2001) in a pure technological sense, focusing on modifications in bodily function, including body extensions which are “intelligent” prosthesis systems that are interfaced directly with the synaptic circuits (on use of mind-controlled robots and on how people with tetraplegia use their thoughts to control robotic aids, see Hochberg et al. (2012)).

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