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The Bodily Experiences of Music Teachers
Published April 30, 2021
53-59

This paper deals with the specifics of a music teacher's work in kindergarten and presents an empirical study, based on the approach of hermeneutic phenomenology. In the research outcomes, the experiences of the music teacher's work in kindergarten are presented through their stories about memorable moments of their professional activity. Initi...ally, in accordance with the theory of Max van Manen, the research data were viewed through the prism of five dimensions (lived time, lived space, lived self-others, lived things, and lived body), typical of all phenomena. The paper discusses one of them, i.e. the teachers' experience from the perspective of the lived body. The stories demonstrate how through the looks, facial mimicry, and body language, moments of the teacher's everyday routine are revealed that would otherwise be overlooked or considered irrelevant.

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Increasing Motivation among Language Learners through Individualized Assessment
Published July 19, 2021
1-13

An extensive body of research has shown that motivation is integral to successful and sustained language learning (Carreira, 2005; Cheng & Dornyei, 2007; Crookes & Schmidt, 1991; Dornyei, 1994; Ehrman, Leaver, & Oxford, 2003; Gardner, 2005; Matsumoto & Obana, 2001; Yang, 2008; Yu & Watkins, 2008). Maintaining student motivat...ion in all aspects of language instruction, particularly assessment, can be challenging for multiple reasons, including learner differences, access to technology, and, most recently, reactions to pandemic learning. Instructors therefore face the challenge of creating assessments that not only evaluate students’ performance but also promote their ability and desire to learn. Based on the results of an action research project, this article highlights the benefits of two types of individualized assessment used to improve students’ motivation while evaluating their performance: work cycle projects and a course portfolio. Using qualitative data collected from student reflective statements, I argue, first, that the ability to choose assessment topics and types motivates students to focus closely on course content and work creatively; these choices ultimately improve their desire to learn course material more than traditional assessment types. Second, encouraging learners to utilize and reflect on their strengths using a portfolio as a form of assessment allows students to understand their strengths and weaknesses and empowers them as learners, thereby improving their motivation.

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“Narrating” Bodies. Physical “Reflexive” Activities between Gender Images and Socio-pedagogical Processes - Research on the Yoga’s Representations
Published June 27, 2022
21-27

This article intends to offer a reflection on how reflexive physical activities can support a socio-pedagogical approach to educating about gender diversity through media communication. We use the term “reflexive” to refer to all those activities aimed at enhancing the person and his relationships, self-realization, selfknowledge, and self-...improvement: in other terms, a circuit of bodily experiences that determine bodily knowledge as a social construction (as described by Connel, 2005). These activities focus mainly on ethical purposes, rather than on performative ones. An example of such disciplines can be considered the practice of yoga which is a currently growing phenomenon both in Europe and in the United States. Yoga is practiced today in the USA by 35.2 million adults, by over 2.5 million people in Italy, and is garnering scientific interest in its contributions to balanced, healthy growth of children and adults. The World Health Organization, in its global action plan on physical activity 2018-2030: More Active People for a Healthier World, calls it a means to improve health. The diffusion of these disciplines responds to a personal and social search for meaning that weighs especially heavily on highly secularized Western culture. This diffusion also portrays a media phenomenon, whose images and messages validate and reinforce capitalist ethics. From this point of view, the “mediated” representation of sports bodies appears to apply to the world of consumers. The images of women practicing yoga, oriented toward alternative values rather than beauty and sexuality, are above all confirmed by the purchase of goods and services that are not related to outward personal appearance. Using the results of an analysis carried out in 2021 of two main international yoga magazines, we are going to discuss the role of yoga as a “reflexive” physical activity and its pedagogical potential oriented to the body as a “primary place of experience”, not just a consumer item, but also a tool for education about gender diversity.

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