FOSTERING SOMATIC MOVEMENT LITERACY WITH YOUNG CHILDREN

Alexia Buono
Research in Dance Education (2021)

Somatic movement literacy is when one is literate in Body, making meaning from somatic experiences. It is not just developing an understanding about the body, objectively. Oriented around somatics and embodied cognition, this article will present a frame- work of somatic movement literacy developed by Paul Linden to be mapped onto arts-based, phenomenological findings of the lived experience of three young children in their preschool mindful movement classes.Methods of arts-based educational research, such as bodily writing, Laban Movement Analysis, and phenomen- ological methods were originally applied to understand young children’s experiences with a mindfully somatic pedagogy. The initial findings were mapped onto Linden’s framework of somatic literacy to investigate if this mode of literacy could be fostered with preschool aged childrenSomatic movement literacy was found to involve aspects of agency, Body-awareness, cultural community membership, experiential knowledge, and physical proficiency. Findings demonstrated that young children are capable of under- standing who they are, what is happening internally and externally through movement and bodily learning, and how their lives are interconnected with others.