Embodied making and learning (EMAL)

Children running towards fabric on the wall. Poto: Lovise Søyland
(Photo: Lovise Søyland)

In our research group we study human creative interactions with materials and the learning that takes place in this process.


We base our view on learning in embodied cognition - that is, an understanding of learning as rooted in the body.

  • “Embodied” refers to the unity of mind-body-surroundings as we interact and experience with others and with materials in the world.
  • “Making” refers to the act of changing and influencing materials and situations (in a broad sense).
  • “Learning” refers to the change and development of the individual when engaged in embodied interaction with others and materials. This includes a perspective on knowledge as an active process and as continuous change.

Being a body in the world

The group explores basic conditions and consequences of being a body in the world, experiencing and learning through working in materials and with others.

This attitude is opening up for interdisciplinary approaches and practice-based research process in multiple contexts.

The research conducted in this vein is important especially in a time when materiality is in a state of constant change and creative practitioners as well as teachers and pupils must adapt to new conditions and modalities of making.

Knowledge that can explain embodied making practice

The goal of the research group is to develop knowledge that can explain embodied making practice, understand its role for individuals, their learning and for today's society.

We do this by collaborating interdisciplinary, in close contact with the international research front in the field.

The knowledge we develop contributes locally to strengthening USN's teacher education programs, and internationally to develop knowledge about learning, teaching and creative interactions with materials.

Check out our blog.

This is how we are organized

The organizational structure of EMAL is constructed of three levels.

1. Targeting

The EMAL research leader group is headed by associate professor Camilla Groth.  

2. Coordinating

The research is coordinated within four clusters:

  • EMAL-Early Childhood Education (ECE) (lead by Kari Carlsen)
  • EMAL-digital (lead by Ingrid Holmboe Høibo and Lovise Søyland)
  • EMAL-teaching and learning (lead by Åsta Rimstad and Anniken Randers-Pehrson)
  • EMAL-making&materiality (lead by Kirstine Riis and Marte S. Gulliksen)

3. Research

The actual research is conducted by the group members (see members list in fact box) within their different disciplines:

  • Arts & crafts
  • Design
  • Outdoor activity education and dance
  • Pedagogy
  • Music
  • Learning sciences
  • Creativity, culture, Education

Collaboration and network

We also collaborate with OsloMet, UiS/Grensesnitt, BIN-norden, Reggio Children International Network, Helsinki University, Aalto University, Turku University, Chalmers University, Göteborgs University, Åbo Akademi, NAFOL og National Center for Art and Culture in Education.

Publications

Publications registered by the EMAL group in the database Cristin.