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Please can anyone point me in the direction of information on the Embodied Mind that will soak into my brain and not go flying over my head into the ether.


I have to write 500 words on the subject for the FD using two separate scources. I have one scource of Margaret Donaldson but am struggling to find something else that my poor brain can understand.....lol :o

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  • 2 weeks later...

As no body replied thought I had better upload my essay!! Just in case anyone wants to know what it means....it is my first draft so excuse any spelling errors!


The Embodied Mind. Spatial Awareness and the Physical Environment

The link between the child as a physical being and development. How do children learn from, and manage within, their physical environment?


Gallagher (2003) cited in Gallagher (2005) considers the importance of kinaesthetic experiences in supporting the body to discover and make meaningful connections in spatial situations by providing a foundation from which to explore; providing perceptual rationality and accomplishment. Donaldson (1978) cited in Moyles (2005) supports this theory stating that children perform better on embedded tasks or activities that support the child in making connections within their brains, she also believed that learning through stimulating the senses or hands on tasks better support the child to make these connections, which impact on later life learning skills. Poeck and Orgrass (1971) cited in Gallagher (2005) vocalised their objection against the association between body image and body schema; Empirical studies characterize body image and body schema. Body schema however is an important ingredient of embodiment. Katz, Chard (1989) cited in Bredekamp and Copple (1997) discuss the importance of providing activities that enhance children’s intellectual and perceptual learning believing that a more academic curriculum based environment can stunt learning at a time when children’s ability is growing at an immense rate.

Damasio (1994) believes feeling depends on the cognisant monitoring of body response to experiences. Changes to the bodily state are reflected as imagery that stimulate certain brain functions to enable interpretation of brain responses supporting the ability to make meaning and connections between knowledge bases. Gallahue (1993) cited in Bredekamp and Copple (1997) theorised that physical development played an important part in children’s abilities to develop skills therefore developmentally appropriate tasks are vital. Practitioners’ ability to observe and judge children’s development is a fundamental part of this learning. Vygotsky (1978) cited in Bredekamp and Copple (1997) believed that practitioners must be able to judge children’s Zone of Proximal Development in order to provide developmentally appropriate tasks. However Donaldson (1978) cited in Grieve and Hughes (1990) thought that language development plays a vital role in how children interpret and learn from tasks she also believed that symbolic representation which supports children in making sense of situations may impact and add constraints to children’s ability to make sense of task dependant learning. Wales and Coffey (1996) cited in Grieve and Hughes (1990) believe the key to children’s ability to make sense of activities relates directly to their ability to understand metaphors, thereby supporting activities that are meaningful and developmentally appropriate as crucial to enable learning.

Fredericks and Eccles (2002) cited in Bee and Boyd (2007) argues that parental outlook has a far greater impact and influence on children’s learning and the performance ability between the sexes. Levine, Huttenlocher, Taylor and Langrock (1999) cited in Bee and Boyd support Fredericks and Eccles in the leaning disparity in spatial abilities found between male and female ability in spatial perception particularly in the Pre-School age range. This perception could impact on children’s ability to learn kinaesthetically meaning male ability is superior to female, Giedd et al (1999) cited in Bee and Boyd believes this is due to maturation being quicker in the male brain, Lippa (2005) supports Geidd, although the belief is that the male interest in video games has supported this superior growth. Shoemaker (1999) cited in Gallagher (2005) is cautious to accept that the identity of a person is reliant on genetic function playing a role in embodiment. He believes it is a sweeping supposition. Brosnan (1998) believes that there is much overlap between the sexes in their learning preferences although acknowledges there is some support to the male ability being higher in some circumstances.


Word Count - 578



Bee, H. And Boyd, D. (2007). The Developing Child 11th Edition. London: Pearson International.

Bredekamp, S and Copple, C. (1997). Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs. NAEYC: Washington.

Gallagher, S. (2005). How the body shapes the mind? Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Grieve.R, Hughes.M. (1990) Understanding Children. Blackwell: Oxford

Moyles,J. (2005). The Excellence of Play, Second Edition. Open University press: London

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