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Proponents of embodied cognition argue that just as the mind influences the body, so the body can influence the mind. In other words, the body plays a crucial role in cognitive processing. The founders of this school of thought, George Lakoff and Rafeal Núñez explain this by saying that "[the mind] arises from the nature of our brains, bodies, and bodily experiences ... The very structure of reason itself comes from the details of our embodiment." In relation to the connection between the mind and body, they go on to say that "the very structure of reason itself comes from the details of our embodiment." This statement means that our cognition is affected, and even determined by, our physical world as well as our physical experiences.

Having a counter-intuitive idea, dualism, put forth by Rene Descartes in the 17th century, claims just the opposite, arguing that  “There is a great difference between mind and body ... The mind or soul of man is entirely different from the body.” However, according to embodied cognitive science, this is not true. In contrast, our reasoning, according to George Lakoff, is immensely affected by our bodies. The facilitative role of gestures in communication, the body movements during feedback, the use of our bodies when performing cognitive tasks, such as thinking, are all indicators of the embodied cognitive system.

Pedagogical implications of embodied cognition can be the extended use of explicit and experience-based instruction, which could have a mediating role in learning processes. The unity of body and cognition might serve as a scaffolding tool, which helps promote gross and fine motor skills as well as cognitive functioning.



Simply coined by John Flavell (1979), the term suggests 'thinking beyond thinking' or 'thinking beyond self', however in the literature it is mostly referred to as 'thinking about thinking'. In fact, the term suggests its name, as metacognition is the knowledge of one's own cognitive process. It includes the phases of planning, monitoring, and evaluating one's own practice and performance. Actually, it means consciously controlling one's thinking processes using a wide range of strategies such as organizing and adapting. It also includes a critical awareness of one's own interactions with the people, environment, processes, tasks, assignments, all of which require appropriate strategies that are tuned to the individual's needs and changing conditions.

These strategies can also change the way people think and act, so people, through metacognition, should implement appropriate strategies that match their needs. For that reason, it is considered a fundamental component of effective learning. Metacognition, therefore, involves self-regulation and self-reflection, so it can teach students how to be expressive and self-critical. In this regard, metacognition can teach students how to cope with their weaknesses and also how to tailor their learning objectives and strategies. Through metacognition, learners can figure out how to expand and even extend beyond the boundaries of their knowledge and capacities, so they can have the ability to apply that knowledge and put it into practice by constantly monitoring their learning strategies and adapting them according to changing conditions.

Situated learning theory is based on the idea that learning happens in the same context in which it is applied, it is unintentional and depends on the context and culture in which it takes place. Simply coined as a 'community of practice' by Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger, it means the shared learning practices among people who are doing the same craft. It posits that abstract knowledge offered in classroom settings is hard to retain, so it highlights that real learning takes place only when it is meaningful and contextual, meaning that learning is embedded within the activity, so it is situated.

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Muhammed Özgür YAŞAR

Merhaba, ben Muhammed Özgür YAŞAR. İngilizce eğitmeni, yazar ve çevirmenim. 2000 yılında Çukurova Üniversitesi İngilizce Öğretmenliği Bölümü'nden mezun oldum. Halen Osmangazi Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi İngilizce Öğretmenliği Bölümü'nde Öğretim Görevlisi olarak çalışmaktayım. Akademik kariyerimde ELT, MOOC, Flipped Learning, Applied Linguistics ve Language and Technology konularına ilgi duymaktayım.

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