Mills, K., Comber, B. & Kelly, P. (2013). Sensing place: Embodiment, sensoriality, kinesis, and children behind the camera. English Teaching,12(2), 11-27. New Zealand: University of Waikato.
This article is a call to literacy teachers and researchers to embrace the possibility of attending more consciously to the senses in digital media production. Literacy practices do not occur only in the mind, but involve the sensoriality, embodiment, co-presence, and movement of bodies. This paper theorises the sensorial and embodied dimension of children's filmmaking about place in two communities in Australia. The films were created by pre-teen Indigenous and non-Indigenous children in Logan, Queensland, and by Indigenous teenagers at the Warralong campus of the Strelley Community School in remote Western Australia. The films were created through engagement in cross-curricular units that sensitised the students' experience of local places, gathering corporeal information through their sensing bodies as they interacted with the local ecology. The analysis highlights how the sensorial and bodily nature of literacy practice through documentary filmmaking was central to the children's formation and representation of knowledge, because knowledge and literacy practices are not only acquired through the mind, but are also reliant on embodiment, sensoriality, co-presence, and kinesics of the body in place.
Learning Sciences Institute Australia
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