Kineflection: Producing, Displaying and Sharing Dynamic Forms of Mental Action

Lapaire Jean-Rémi
Language of the article : French
DOI: 10.3406/intel.2017.1865
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As speakers reflect, narrate or reason orally they produce ideational and argumentative gestures (McNeill, 1992, 2005; Calbris, 2011). In doing so, they perform bodily acts of conceptualization: their ideas and lines of reasoning are not simply expressed but performed on the socio-cognitive stage (Lapaire, 2014a). Arguments and concepts “take shape” (Arnheim, 1969) through patterned moves that enact “conceptual actions” (Streeck, 2009). Bodily displays of abstract meanings (McNeill, 1992; 2005) are thus produced that give sensory reality and “palpability” (Talmy, 2000) to otherwise invisible thought processes. I propose using the word kineflection (or kinetic thinking) to name the union of movement and reflection. Kinetic thinking is present in everyday communicative behaviour, yet remains largely unconscious, and underused in standard teaching and learning environments. The proposed hypothesis is that the mechanisms of kineflection may be brought to consciousness and activated to empower thinkers and instructors, as well as students, in all learning environments. New strategies may be developed that pair bodily action with conceptual or symbolic action (Goldin Meadow, 2003; Kendon, 2004), allowing “living” forms of reflection (Jousse, 1974) to be “orchestrated to a choreography of the human body” (Asher, 1972). In principle, kineflective pedagogy should make sense to learners because “the enactment of knowledge and concepts through the activities of our bodies” (Lindgren & Jonson-Glenberg, 2013) is part of human nature and strongly anchored in language. However, developing embodied, enactive forms of understanding based on “choreographic thinking” (Forsythe, 2013) is not without its own challenges, as I propose to show, using empirical evidence gathered during a number of small-scale experiments with university students, in such diverse fields as biology and astrophysics (Rollinde, 2015a), medicine (Roze, 2016), grammar, morphology and pragmatics (Lapaire & Masse, 2006; Lapaire, 2016; 2018).

Pour citer cet article :

Lapaire Jean-Rémi (2017/2). Kineflection: Producing, Displaying and Sharing Dynamic Forms of Mental Action. In Bottineau Didier & Grégoire Michael (Eds), Language and enaction: embodiment, environment, experience, learning, Intellectica, 68, (pp.193-224), DOI: 10.3406/intel.2017.1865.