Now that we have presented the scenarios and the tools that can be applied in the previous sections, in this discussion we present our findings when we have used these approaches with a specific objective.
Level 1. Innovation in education project
To date, we have taught specific educational subjects through embodiment within groups of up to 40 students each. Our findings suggest that an experiential body approach motivates the student, increasing their engagement with the academic subject they are enrolled in. For instance, we have taught engineering, medicine, psychology and architecture students during several years and courses for an approximate total number of 300 students. Concepts of physics (movement, translation, pressure); mathematics (numbers, shapes); video games (12 basic principle of animation); psychology (motor development, body image); and medicine (moving anatomy) can be easily introduced through embodiment. The data were obtained through: a) Likert questionnaires that includes questions about level of body awareness, acquired knowledge and satisfaction with the activity; and b) a reflexive diary to collect information about feelings, thoughts, sensations, etc. during the activity. Both tools allow students to make a deep reflection about how they learn better and permit to us to demonstrate our objectives and to establish comparisons with the same subjects taught in a more traditional and cognitive approach. This scenario can be used to train a young researcher in an early stage.
Level 2. Short-term research project trying to improve higher education teacher's wellbeing
This is a 6-month-long project that includes a 3-month training programme for teachers that aims to reduce their stress, increasing subjective wellbeing and body awareness, and improving at the same time their communication skills. Pre-post data collection was done through three self-perception psychological tests and cardiac variability, while cortisol level was measured at six sampling times. A reflexive diary was recorded each day at the end of the session. From an organizational and logistical point of view we learned the following: 1) groups should be limited to 20 participants so that the session facilitator can support any participant; 2) it is crucial to adjust the phases of the project to the academic schedule to maximize attendance to all sessions; 3) participants may come from different backgrounds and levels of self-knowledge. That is why it is important to design some first sessions to generate confidence in the group, to overcome the resistances that may appear despite the fact that the participants are volunteers; 4) the research team must be a multidisciplinary one: a specialist in bodywork tools for leading movement sessions, and a specialist in the measurement of physiological variables such as cortisol or cardiac variability; 5) it must be ensured that no intense exercise is done in the morning of the saliva sampling or anything eaten 45 minutes before it; 6) any abnormally stressful event that occurred throughout the morning must be recorded.
The studies in which we developed a similar experimental design with higher education teachers always rendered a high level of satisfaction with the programme. Sessions are perceived as a benefit at both personal and professional levels; the participants reported an improvement in the quality of their relationships and deep self-knowledge that the bodywork promotes (Rodriguez-Jimenez & Garcia, 2017; Tenon Lopez et al., 2013; Rodriguez-Jimenez & Castilla, 2013; Rodriguez-Jimenez et al., 2013). The project ended with the defence of the master’s thesis and a publication in a specialized journal. Scenario 2 projects should be accompanied by more in-depth training leading to a doctoral thesis.
Level 3. Full research project to analyse the impact of a body awareness training programme on the well-being and academic learning of engineering students
The main difference with scenario 2 is ambition and complexity. The example we describe here is a З-year project oriented to higher education students that aims to improve self-knowledge, well-being and body awareness, increasing their academic performance and own satisfaction with the learning process, as well as reducing levels of stress in students of engineering. A training programme of 16 weekly sessions of 90 minutes each was offered to second year engineering studies students as an extra activity to the official syllabus. At this level we usually work with three groups of 12 to 20 participants (negative control, positive control and experimental). The complete battery of quantitative and qualitative tools previously listed are used with several sampling points, especially regarding physiological variables. At the end of the first year and thanks to the information obtained from data analysis, the programme is redefined to apply it again a second time with a bigger sample (3 times more). Third year plans to strengthen the programme extending it to more students (6 times more) and 2 additional degrees (i.e architecture, psychology). The structure of each session travels from intrapersonal to interpersonal work. The intrapersonal phase (months 1 and 2) is focused on self-awareness, selfcontrol and self-regulation; the interpersonal phase (months 3 and 4) focuses on kinaesthetic empathy and resolving problems in a group context. Complexity of this design requires a strong research team and funding. Great attention must be paid to ethical issues throughout the entire project. Results must have a statistical significance to be published in peer-re vie wed journals.