Embodiment for Education

Arthur Glenberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

78 Scopus citations


It is clear that one of the 20th century's greatest educational thinkers believed that there is a close connection between the body and education. But why should we think in the same line? The answer that this chapter develops is in two parts. After a brief discussion of embodiment theory, the chapter first briefly reviews data showing an intimate connection between the body and simple mathematics. Second, it spends considerably more time reviewing data from a research project investigating a reading intervention based on an embodied theory of language. This intervention has been successfully applied across various populations of young readers, and its application in learning abstract concepts in science is beginning to be explored. The essence of embodied theories of cognition is that the body, particularly bodily systems that have evolved for perception, action, and emotion, contribute to "higher" cognitive processes. Many of these cognitive processes are important to education, such as language comprehension, reading, mathematics, and scientific thinking. Thus, the classroom offers a fertile ground for observing effects of embodiment and testing theories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Cognitive Science
PublisherElsevier Ltd.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780080466163
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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