Researching embodied pedagogy and collaborative learning practices for arts-rich classrooms

This project focusses on a case study examining the teaching of a complex text with a view to understanding how students new to embodied learning respond and how they construct new meanings through collaborative, artistic and embodied processes. The research has utilised the world-class science of learning laboratory, housed at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, to collect data. It has transformed the science of learning classroom into an open learning space through working with 16 participants over a two-hour period, taking them through one specific workshop drawn from the Embodied Pedagogies subject. This yielded over 40 hours of video data and observational notes. The workshop central to this investigation was based on Shaun Tan’s visual short story, Stick Figures (Tan, 2008). The workshop employed a range of drama teaching strategies such as dramatic storytelling, heightened movement, role-play, writing in-role and the use of music. Through observation, video capture, participant and researcher reflection, Jane Bird and Christine Sinclair are investigating the impact of embodied, aesthetic learning experiences on participants and identifying key teaching practices which contributed to participants’ engagement and learning.


  • Melbourne Education Research Institute, Melbourne Graduate School of Education


  • Dr Jane Bird
  • Dr Christine Sinclair