Practice, the Body and Pedagogy: Attuning as a Basis for Pedagogies of the Unknown

  • Nick HopwoodEmail author


This chapter articulates a distinctive connection between practice, the body and pedagogy. Linking these is the idea of attuning, conceived as relational, corporeal and enacted. In this way, binaries between mind and body, knowing and doing, self and other, teacher and learner are disrupted. The account of embodied pedagogy also explores how such work is done when it is not clear at the outset what is to be learned, and where knowledge informing what to do is unstable, incomplete and fragile. This is framed in terms of ‘pedagogy of the unknown’, conceptualised here as emergent, consistent with practice theoretical and sociomaterial approaches. The analysis draws on an ethnographic study of professional practices in a parent education service supporting families with young children deemed to be at risk. The pedagogic role in these practices has been intensified through changing relations between professionals and clients, referred to here as partnership . Theorising pedagogic work in practices not traditionally regarded as educational in nature casts new light on the demands placed on professionals through contemporary shifts in the relational basis of professional work, referred to more broadly in terms of coproduction .


Service User Professional Work Professional Expertise Teachable Moment Pedagogic Role 
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of Technology SydneyBroadwayAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Curriculum StudiesUniversity of StellenboschStellenboschSouth Africa

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