Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A touch of class--in class!

Clip art: Clker
Clip art: Clker
Whether or not a haptic anchor is effective can depend upon a number of factors, including what is happening in the visual field, the accuracy and consistency of the pedagogical movement pattern (PMP) involved, the felt sense of body resonance, the coordination of the voice with the PMP, and--according to this study--the "emotional quality" of the touch, as registered in the somatosensory cortex. In this research who (male or female experimenter) the subjects thought were touching them determined whether the touch was experienced as pleasurable or not. (Note 1: What a surprise, eh! Note 2: In EHIEP work, there is no "interpersonal touch" involved, only "intra-personal!) The point is, how the touch was interpreted was based not just on the texture of the contact itself but on the conceptual, assumed source of the action as well. What that means for classroom or individual practice regimens with haptic-based procedures is that how one imagines the "dance" can be all important. I have often referred to the EHIEP protocols (techniques) as best understood as 3-second dance steps of a kind. The key there is that a dance, by its very nature, involves an intentional, generally clear emotional setting or "personna" that can be easily assumed by the dancer to "get into the spirit" of the process. The Lessac system is based on the idea of conceptual, visualized body-- (or emotion) anchored sets of physical exercises, which begin with the learner taking on a very focused, productive, imagined state of mind (e.g., an attitude, or metaphorical personna such as that of an animal or instrument of the orchestra)--which when used in training actors make perfect sense, of course. This "caress" study points to the importance of expectations, set up by effective warm ups in our work and careful attention to where the student's imagination and "pedagogical identity" are in the process. Will go back to Lessac and figure out a set of such "potent, pre-protocol pedagogical personnas" (PPPPPs) to try out on my students! More on this later. 

1 comment:

Bill Acton said...

Here is another related Science Daily summary:

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