Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
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Todd, S
Studies in Philosophy and Education
Education, Contact and the Vitality of Touch: Membranes, Morphologies, Movements
1 ()
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This paper explores how touch is key to understanding education-not as an achievement or an instrument of acquisition, but as a process through which one becomes a subject capable of both living and leading a life that matters for ourselves and others. As a process, it is concerned with how we encounter things and others in the world and not solely with what we encounter. In particular, it argues that the dynamics of touch-as both a touching and being touched by-are central for understanding educational encounters as sensory landscapes of contact. This paper turns first to Aristotle's understanding of touch as central to life itself in order to contemplate how it is not merely one of the senses but signifies as the primary mode of all bodily contact with the world. This vital aspect will then be examined in relation to the specific ways bodies experience contact, through their membranes, morphological make up and their movements. Here, I draw on a number of philosophers and theorists, such as Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, Juhani Pallasmaa and Erin Manning, and a recent art installation The Boarding School by Sisters Hope to demonstrate how bodies matter to the very practices of education. I conclude with some thoughts on what morphologies, membranes and movements can specifically offer to a sensuous understanding of education.
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