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Moving Ideas

Multimodality and Embodied Learning in Communities and Schools


Edited By Mira-Lisa Katz

What does it look and feel like to communicate, create, compose, comprehend, teach, and learn with our bodies? Reaching beyond existing scholarship on multimodality and literacies, Moving Ideas expands our capacity to understand the embodied dimensions of learning and stretches our repertoires for more artfully describing them. Wresting language away from its historically privileged place at the center of social science research and practice, this collection examines the strategic layering across semiotic modes, challenging educators and researchers to revisit many of our most elemental assumptions about communication, learning, and development. The corporeal pedagogies these authors describe illuminate a powerful kind of learning that we know far too little about; in this age of accountability and high-stakes testing, failing to pay adequate attention to the promise of multimodality means forfeiting significant resources that could be used to innovatively engage people of all ages in education broadly conceived.
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Just as literacies are social, books are collaborative. This volume owes its existence to the guidance, hard work and faith of many colleagues, friends, mentors and family members.

First and foremost, I appreciate my co-authors’ insightful contributions, which promise to broaden and enliven future studies of multimodality and literacies. I am especially grateful to my colleague and friend, Cathy Kroll, who offered invaluable feedback and intellectual companionship throughout the writing process and conceived the book’s title, Moving Ideas, which so elegantly captures the collection’s intentions. Eve Sweetser, Dor Abrahamson, Katharine Young and Matt Rahaim as well as other members of the U.C. Berkeley Gesture Research Group provided lively and provocative discussions of gesture, language, multimodality and embodied cognition. Heartfelt thanks to my colleague and friend, Noelle Oxenhandler, for offering steadfast encouragement and long term vision, and to fellow members of the California State University ERWC Advisory Committee, especially Nancy Brynelson, John Edlund, Norm Unrau and Nelson Graff, who really walk the walk of collaborative thinking and scholarship.

Dance colleagues Jill Homan Randall, Nina Haft, Frank Shawl, Victor Anderson, Rebecca Johnson, Katie Faulkner, Randee Paufve, David Leventhal, Beth Hoge, Ernesta Corvino, Mercy Sidbury and many other dedicated movers made chapters 1, 3, 6 and 9 possible. ← x | xi →

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