Unsettling the Mind/Body Dualism: Embodied Learning, Tikkun Olam, & Progressive Citizenship Education

Frances Cachon


Progressive citizenship education aims to reclaim and renew our democratic institutions, this is predicated on a critically informed, engaged, and active citizenry. I first consider the nexus of progressive citizenship education and the ancient Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam, which has become synonymous with pursuit of social justice. Addressing the noted deficit in the literature of how educators learn to teach social justice, this article explores the transformative potential of embodied pedagogies in teaching for social justice. Emerging from interdisciplinary questioning of the mind/body dualism or ‘disembodiment’, feminists have stressed the importance of embodied pedagogies to the creation of educational spaces that simultaneously challenge dominant systems of knowledge (i.e. the universal), while affirming corporeal ways of knowing (i.e. experiential). I provide a brief overview of studies documenting the integration of embodied learning, emphasizing the importance of contemplative practices and ‘unsettling’ to the transformative potential of social justice education. 


embodied pedagogies; citizenship education; social justice

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