Embodiment and Performance in Pedagogy Research: Investigating the Possibility of the Body in Curriculum Experience


  • Mia Perry
  • Carmen Medina


In this study, we consider experiential learning in relation to embodiment and performative practices.  We address the need for a method of analysis to examine the role of the body in space, as text, and as experience. In order to develop our analysis, we define embodiment and performance as areas of thought with distinct histories and anatomies.  Through an examination of theories of the body and concepts of the performative in pedagogy, we explore how bodies are constructed and understood within the "experience of learning" (Ellsworth, 2005), and situate performative pedagogy in relation to that. We draw on data from a drama education classroom, and poststructural theory, to illustrate how the body can be considered in analysis and can reveal complex and informative notions about teaching and learning, as well as bodies and performance practices in the classroom.

Author Biographies

Mia Perry

Mia Perry is an assistant professor of drama and theatre education at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan. She has been awarded the 2011 Canadian Association of Curriculum Studies Dissertation Award for her thesis, Theatre as place of learning: The forces and affects of devised theatre processes in education, and won the 2011 Research Award from the Canadian Association of Theatre Research.

Carmen Medina

Carmen Medina is an assistant professor in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education Department at the School of Education of Indiana University. Her research interests are literacy as social and critical practices, critical performance/drama pedagogies, biliteracy education and Latino/a children's literature. Recently she has been working on a research project examining Puerto Rican children engagement and intepretive practices at the intersection of global/local landscapes and networks.