Writing Series B

Writing Series B contains texts, primarily articles, that we in different ways work with in the Research Group INTRA – individually or together. The texts are hereby self-published on this site.




Play as Pedagogical Philosophy and Praxis

A Pedagogy and Ethics for Social Contexts

Per Apelmo & Dan Tedenljung


Play as attitude and skill is something that almost everyone comes to possess at an early age. Play is vital to personal development and is critical in terms of bodily, spiritual and intellectual maturity, and as a mode through which the individual deals with all the situations she encounters, good and bad alike. In many adults, play and the ability to play have been stunted and limited by a number of factors in social relationships, schooling, culture and society. The remarkable thing about adults in terms of play is that their ability to play can be well developed in one area, but otherwise stunted and limited in social contexts. We believe that an adult with the ability to play is a valuable colleague in any field. In adulthood, people sometimes need to recapture the ability to play in order to live life to the full. The focus of our attention in this study is on play and the role that play has for adults in terms of skills acquisition and ethical/moral development, at both the personal and group levels. The purpose of the study is to investigate the conceptual tension between play, social roles and inhibitions, by drawing on research into play, and by tying the research results into a pedagogical application for adults borrowed from Expressive Arts (EXA). In our opinion, the key concepts adduced in this study concerning the attitude to social encounters through play are borne out in the research of B. Knutsdotter Olovsson, B. Røed Hansen, M. Soltved, D. Stern, C.R. Rogers, and by P. Freire’s notion of praxis, M. Buber’s I & Thou relationship, and by E. Levinas’ ethics of the encounter with the radical other. This deepens the understanding of the moral and ontological dimensions of play, and [of] the interpersonal dilemmas faced by a person who has never learned how to play, or by one who has completely or partially lost the ability to play as an adult, whose creativity has been stunted, and who needs help healing her relationship with her surroundings.



Space for Play as Intermodality

Expressive Arts as an Educational Philosophy and Practice

Per Apelmo, Hannes Lundkvist & Dan Tedenljung


Building on the view of play as an educational philosophy and practice presented in our first article, this current article presents ways of creating space for play as intermodality. Expressive Arts (EXA) is presented as a method and a tool with which to create this space, which can be realised in different contexts. In connection with this, we highlight various spatial aspects that influence a social and educational space of this nature, in which people interact on the basis of their different life experiences. Finally, we discuss what we consider to be the key constituents of an educational philosophy and practice that aims to create space for play. This includes a discussion of phenomenology, hermeneutics, the role of verbal language, “communication in relation”, intersubjectivity, moments of change and learning that aims to be innovative.



Play as Transformative Moments

An Application of Expressive Arts as Pedagogical Philosophy and Practice

Per Apelmo, Hannes Lundkvist


This article is only available in Swedish. In this article, we present two studies from the development project Fristadsbarn that was implemented between the years 2000–2004 in Eskilstuna Municipality, in which Expressive Arts was used as a pedagogical philosophy and praxis. In these studies, an application of this way of working is described and analyzed in detail – the modes of the playing that emerged is explored. From several perspectives, we point towards- and discuss what happens when playing is coupled with Expressive Arts and is applied as practice, and in what ways this way of working could enable transformative action and subjecthood. In the discussion, we deepen the thoughts about the phenomenological aspects of the work.

Key words: Play, Expressive Arts, Intermodality, Intersubjectivity