The body in the learning process. From being object of the evaluation to being subject of cognition


  • Filippo Gomez Paloma
  • Cristiana D'Anna
  • Roberto Zotti


The emerging methodology in the field of cognitive sciences such as the Embodied Cognition (EC) approach considers physicality a favourable or necessary condition for the development of cognitive processes. Physicality
might help the building knowledge process due to the fact that, while going through educational activities, the body active participation allows the student to live and develop deep emotions; this can be seen as the result of
the total involvement of the person as a whole (Gomez Paloma, 2014).
Therefore, the aim of this paper is to analyse the possible effects on learning of two different approaches: the innovative and the traditional teaching methods. Specifically, the study has focused on a number of aspects related to the learning process in schools such as learning environments moving from multi-sensory experience, reprocessing and storage of knowledge, the level of pupils cortisol and its possible effects on learning.
Our empirical evidence firstly shows that the introduction of the experimental teaching increases pupils’ academic performances. Secondly, the effect is higher when pupils’ outcomes are measured in the long-run, suggesting that the innovative teaching method influences the storing knowledge process. Finally, the estimated positive effects on learning due to the introduction of the new teaching method seem to be related to a not particularly high level of cortisol; in other words, a level of cortisol too high, corresponding to a level of excessive stress, can have a negative effects on the pupil’s learning process.



How to Cite

Gomez Paloma, F., D'Anna, C., & Zotti, R. (2015). The body in the learning process. From being object of the evaluation to being subject of cognition. Formazione & Insegnamento, 13(1), 337–354. Retrieved from