Living The Experience Of Learning: Embodied Reflexivity As Pedagogical Process

Elinor Vettraino*, Warren Linds

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As theatre practitioners we are always doing, acting, speaking and moving. Our world is one of lived experience, where we physically embody moments of knowledge creation and transformation. Through these interactions and transactions of learning, we reflect and ‘reflex’ our understanding of experiences. But how might we develop an approach to pedagogy that recognizes the primacy of relationships, enabling a sharing of an embodied and reflexive approach about our pedagogical practices? How might we experience these relationships in a way that enables learning processes to occur for ourselves and those we teach? These are questions we explore in this article, using our experiences and research. We identify how principles based on the Indigenous concept of 4Rs (relevance, responsibility, respect and reciprocity) that underpin embodied reflexivity could open up the possibility for new ways of knowing and understanding. We do this through presenting two research projects, one in Canada on using theatre games to explore well-being with Indigenous youth and one in Scotland on story and re-storying using an approach with educational professionals to develop embodied reflexive practice. Embodied reflexive processes as collective experience become opportunities for complex learning to occur where participants gain potentially transformational insights into practice through their symbiotic interaction with others.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-35
Number of pages20
JournalSouth African Theatre Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jan 2018


  • embodied learning
  • reflexive practice
  • theatre games
  • storytelling
  • reciprocity


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