Pedagogical “Hands and Eyes”: Embodied Learning and the Genesis of Ethical Perception

Shirin Vossoughi*, Meg Escudé, Walter Kitundu, Manuel Luis Espinoza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Drawing from a range of ethnographic information gathered within a participatory design project on after-school learning and educational justice, this paper describes the new ways of seeing and relating that emerged when researchers and educators “examined the obvious” (Erickson 1973/84) and closely analyzed the embodied—physical, gestural, artifact-mediated—dimensions of learning interactions. As participants co-analyzed field notes, photographs and video recordings of educator–student interactions during making and tinkering activities, they began to notice the forms of embodied assistance that cultivated or stifled rich forms of joint activity and consider the subjective meanings this layer of experience held for participants. This emergent lens was shared through various forms of professional development and gave life to a sustained practice of intentionality and reflective intuition among educators. Our analyses contribute to prior research on embodiment by tracing the emergence of “hands and eyes” (as it was referred to by participants) as a form of ethical perception and considering how educators learned to revise their embodied actions to organize more generative learning experiences with children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-157
Number of pages23
JournalAnthropology and Education Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Educational Justice
  • Embodiment
  • Learning
  • Pedagogy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Anthropology


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