Embodied Making and Learning









Learning to learn: What can be learned from first- hand experience with materials? 

Biljana C. Fredriksen  

University College of Southeast Norway 


Keywords: experiential learning, first-hand perspective, materials transformation


A child cannot be taught how to walk – it has to sense the balance of its body, the smoothness of the floor, the strength of its muscles, and respond appropriately. The author argues that the process of learning depends on embodied functions and subjective experiences of the one who is learning. This paper discusses the first-hand perspective in the process of material transformation. During such a process, the acting person has to be attentive and make innumerable adaptive choices. Examples from a doctoral study focusing on young children (3 year olds), illustrate how the children’s first-person experiences related to their learning. The author proposes that similar processes take place at all ages and that experience of learning through material transformation is an arena for learning how to learn. The paper initiates discussion about interactive relationships between the senses, attention, emotional engagement, responsibility, mastery, self-confidence and learning during material transformations. 

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: Fredriksen, B.C. (2016). Learning to learn: What can be learned from first-hand experience with materials? Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

This paper will be presented at DRS2016, find it in the conference programme

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