EARLI Mentoring Grant: Embodied Cognition in Physics Education

Embodied Cognition puppets
(Image via Pixabay, Creative Commons CC0)

Each year, five EARLI-JURE members are given the opportunity to benefit from an international mentoring visit for a period of 2-4 weeks. The mentor, who is an EARLI member and an experienced scholar in his/her respective field, can provide guidance and support to the doctoral student in a variety of themes. 

I'm happy and grateful to have been awarded an EARLI Mentoring Grant 2019: I will visit Jesper Haglund at Karlstad University, Sweden, to learn more about embodied cognition in Science Education:


Understanding how learners come to know abstract concepts requires a holistic approach. This reflects in the diversity of disciplines that have informed conceptual change research. Embodied cognition in science education has been a recent fruitful entryway to look at the ways learners conceptualise the world around them.


In my PhD-reseach I have taken a sociocultural approach to study how students deal with conceptual challenges in modern physics. This research has been greatly informed by ideas of embodied cognition and embodied interaction. These insights have informed the design of a digital learning environment that I developed as part of my PhD-project. The mentoring activities will allow me to build on this work by extending its scope to more foundational issues related to learning in the context of science education.


Jesper's research has focused on how embodied cognition theory can inform students' conceptual change in classical physics, such as mechanics and thermodynamics. With the mentoring activities, we will investigate how this perspective can be extended to modern physics, which offers a unique inquiry playground for conceptual change in relation to abstract scientific concepts. Through the mentoring activities I hope to take first actions to turn this potential into reality.

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