Kropsforankret læring ved Søværnets Officersskole - et kandidatspeciale


Den 27. juni 2022 blev jeg færdiguddannet cand.mag. i læring og forandringsprocesser ved Institut for kultur og læring på Aalborg Universitet. 

Mit afsluttende speciale er skrevet i samarbejde med Søværnets Officersskole. Specialet er et kvalitativt og eksplorativt studie af planlægning og udvikling af ledelsesundervising på modulet Grundlæggende Militær Ledelse på Søværnets diplomuddannelse. Formålet er at belyse, hvordan kropsforankret læring kan integreres i teoriundervisningen gennem empiri i form af interviews og deltagerobservation. 

Interoceptitvitet - i et kropsfænomenologisk studie ved Søværnets Officersskole

Download specialet herunder, eller læs artiklen "Interoceptivitet i lederudvikling" som er baseret på specialets resultater her


In the literature on managerial training, there is a tendency to place the bodily side of learning as an addition to true learning of a mental and rational nature rather than a prerequisite and basis for learning. Since the brain and central nervous system are specialized parts of the body, we must cross the line between the embodied and the mental; learning is conditioned by the body as a whole.

The aim of this thesis is to study how activates based one embodied learning can be integrated into existing leadership teaching. This is done in a qualitative and exploratory study of planning and development of the leadership training at the Royal Danish Naval Academy in the module Basic Military Leadership.

How can acitivities based on embodied learning be integratet into existing theory teaching at the Royal Danish Naval Academy in the module Basic Military Leadership?

The thesis applies a body-phenomenological perspective presented by Merleau-Ponty, which sees the body as ubiquitous, and the prerequisite for human perception, movement, and cognition. In continuation of this, embodied learning has been defined as specific, bodily processes that lead to new 'habits'. Specific bodily processes refer to processes in which sensuality, movement, and emotion play a crucial role. By habit, I follow Merleau-Ponty's understand, where habit is the sum of what is learned such as knowledge, attitude, and skills.

Using the methods from design thinking and considering the planning of the upcoming (now ongoing) theory teaching in Basic Military Leadership, I find that activities based on embodied learning can be integrated into the existing theory teaching by complying with three organizational frameworks and conditions: First, the activities must enable the acquisition of (new) bodily actions, as the body is the bearer of tacit knowledge. Secondly, the activities must be used as an intervention method to support the teaching's current learning goals, and should possible to carry out within a realistic time frame, to accommodate an already tightly packed teaching program. Third, the activities must allow the cadets to sense their bodily state (interoceptivity), and thus create a basis for reflections on the leadership.

As a result of this, six basic principles have been developed: intervention method, purpose, continuity, sensing, breeding ground, and reflection. By integrating these six principles in the design of the activities, it is possible to integrate activities based on embodied learning in the existing teaching. How exactly this can be done is operationalized in the activity catalog The Bodily Compass, which offers 10 concrete activities based on embodied learning, specifically targeted at the Royal Danish Naval Academy in the module Basic Military Leadership.

I discuss whether the final design of the activity catalog is an expression of pragmatic solutions that compromise some qualitative criteria or whether the final choices despite compromises add a significant boost to the training. Butler's theory of performativity as repetitive and reproductive practices (speech and deed) has been incorporated and provides an opportunity to comprehend the peculiarities of the Armed Forces' institutional use of the body, where power structures for correct behavior are embedded and where actions are a reproduction of cultural norms.