Embodiment, (inter)subjectivity and the construction of children's agency in learning (2021-2023)

Children’s agency in learning has been recognized as a key factor for many important goals in schooling, such as leadership, critical thinking, collaborative learning, and creativity. Agency is a defining element in children’s engagement with peers and important in all school activities. It is a social process that is dependent on the child’s experiences in the world and has been identified as a challenge for children in need of special educational support. In this project we are interested in how children’s embodied experiences (Bengtsson, 2013) and intersubjectivity (Di Paolo & De Jaegher, 2015) allows the reflective and intentional processes that grounds the construction of agency. The project carries out different studies utilizing a specific pedagogy named Idea Diary developed by prof. Luciana Muniz and prof. Albertina M. Martínez to purposefully give visibility to children’s creative and reflective learning processes. This pedagogic method prompts embodied learning and co-construction of meaning in learning situations. Particularly, we look at the construction of the sense of agency through children’s productions in the Idea Diaries, in a group of children that are facing learning difficulties. We look at the different ways in which one can experience agency and how the children’s experiences can produce agency. Data was collected during Spring 2021 and consists of video recordings of children during learning diary sessions applied in special education classrooms. The analysis is done through micro-genetic video analysis and conversational analysis. The results of this study will be used to elaborate diverse pedagogical practices for special education.

This project is conducted in partnership with Prof. Luciana Muniz, Federal University of Uberlândia, Brazil
And counts with the advicement and collaboration of:
Prof. Albertina Martinez, Emeritus professor in Education at the University of Brasilia, Brazil
Senior Researcher Dr. Hanne De Jaegher, Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, University of the Basque Country.

Associate Professor Kristen Bottema-Beutel, School of Education and Human Development, Boston College, USA.
PhD candidate Shannon Crowley, School of Education and Human Development, Boston College, USA.

Master’s students included in this project:
Sanni Nuutila, Faculty of Education and Culture, Tampere University
Annarauna Savolainen, Faculty of Education and Culture, Tampere University
Fozla Rabbi, Faculty of Education and Culture, Tampere University
Essi Viertola, Bachelor Student, Faculty of Education and Culture, Tampere University

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