Posted by: Dr Martha Eddy | February 8, 2008

REVIEW: Body Cues and Conflict: LMA-Derived Approaches to Educational Violence Prevention

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REVIEW: Body Cues and Conflict: LMA-Derived Approaches to Educational Violence Prevention

Martha H. Eddy, CMA, Ed.D.

Published in Movement News a publication of the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (www.limsonline.org) Spring 2004 Volume 29, No. 1 Pages 12-16

Body Cues and Conflict: LMA-Derived Approaches to Educational Violence Prevention describes how body movement is used (and talked about) during conflicts and how to pay attention to the body in order to de-escalate conflicts. Body language is often misinterpreted due to personal biases, differences of perception, and cultural ignorance. It is posited that it is helpful to de-escalate conflict by using a systematic observational process that aims to minimize prejudicial responses to non-verbal behavior.

Movement analysts work to find “neutral” language that is purely descriptive rather than infused with subjective opinion. In observing people during an argument or conflict the following questions among many others that are offered as a guide:

  • What exactly am I seeing this person do?
  • How does s/he use space?
  • What energy is visible in the movement (e.g., lethargic, excited, easy-going)?

 

Finally the article includes a series of examples of how teachers are using movement analysis in the violence prevention and conflict resolution work in schools. It also includes some of the findings to Eddy’s doctoral research, the Role of Physical Activity in Educational Violence Prevention Programs for Youth (1998, UMI). In particular, effective teaching practices are highlighted. Future steps for schools are given as well as a how movement analysis can continue to support creative conflict resolution as people awaken to the importance of the body in human interaction.

 

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