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The suitcase, the map, and the compass: an expedition into embodied poetic narrative and its application toward fostering optimal learning spaces

Resource type
Thesis type
(Dissertation) Ph.D.
Date created
Embodied Poetic Narrative is a triangulation of body, story, and object in creative and shared play as a way to surface new understandings of self and other. This curriculum model carries multiple entry points whereby the teacher/participant can enter from creative writing and/or movement in combination with shared stories developed from objects of value. With these imaginative explorations, I invite the body’s centre of gravity to shift and thereby provoke the axis of knowing to be disrupted. This process results in lived experiences re-interpreted, re-storied, and then re-imagined with others. When fracturing the signifiers of our everyday(ness) participants come to shared understandings and create intersections of commonalities thereby cultivating spaces of reciprocity where a community is formed. By moving away from text centred processes through immediacy and viscerality, we access our first, most creative impulses. I posit a body in movement reveals lost thoughts and treasured images and with an increased heart rate and rapid breath we provoke availability to the imagination and deeper understanding of self and other. I ask questions such as, “If I am a museum of lived experiences what are my artifacts?”; “What is embodied literacy in the curriculum of the world?”; “How can co-authoring personal stories cultivate compassion within a community of practice and further a global community?” My thesis explores my relationship with and through dance into embodiment, including reflections on spectatorship. It continues on to explore the culturally-inscripted body within our ever-growing world of fluid borders and hybrid identities. I critique text centred learning strategies as a primary factor in forcing the body into silence as well as examining the notion of self and other within an autobiographical and collective storying process. I trouble our privileged position of naming objects in relation to the everydayness of their use and finally, I explore the interpretive voice by examining readings of embodied acts. Embodied Poetic Narratives presents a tool to create powerful, dynamic pedagogic environments whereby forgotten or suppressed memories, can activate personal agency and self politicized action towards transformative learning.
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Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Snowber, Celeste
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etd6443_KRicketts.pdf 25.64 MB

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