Notre pédagogie > Enacting teaching and learning

Enacting teaching and learning in the interaction process: “Keys” for developing skills in piano lessons through four-hand improvisations

Julien Laroche / Ilan Kaddouch


Embodied mind theories underline the role of the body in the act of knowing. According to the enactive approach, we learn to perceive and to know through our bodily interactions with the world (Varela, Thompson & Rosch, 1991). However, such an approach remains incomplete as long as sociality is not taken into account (Froese & Di Paolo, 2009). Recently, an inter-enactive approach has accordingly been proposed. Social interactions are seen as processes of coordinated sense-making that emerge from the dynamics of the inter-action process itself (De Jaegher & Di Paolo, 2007). As learning mainly takes place in intersubjective contexts (e.g. as an effect of teaching), this approach is relevant to the issue of pedagogy. Teaching settings are a special case though: cognitive interactions are reciprocal but asymmetrically guided by the teacher. In this paper, the question of the relations between body and education is thus addressed from the point of view of the inter-enactive approach. To this end, we first sketch out the phenomenological and theoretical contours of embodied intersubjectivity and intersubjective embodiment. Then, we present an interactive pedagogical method for musical learning (free spontaneous four-hand improvisations in the context of the Kaddouch pedagogy) and discuss it using illustrative case studies. The teacher’s role appears to operate directly within the dynamics of the interaction process, a source of knowing and skill enaction for the learner