The Power of Movement in Teaching and Learning
I specialize in kinesthetic teaching, the use of creative movement in the classroom to teach across the curriculum. My techniques, in which I have trained hundreds of classroom teachers, release students from a passive learning postureglued to their seats, dissociated, with decreased oxygen in their brainsand engage them physically and creatively with what they are learning. Simply by getting students out of their seats, we encourage new levels of self-discovery and self-expression. And by letting students experience the curriculum through their bodies, we help them make deeper emotional, interpersonal, and kinesthetic connections to academic subjects.
According to Harvard Medical School's Professor John Ratey, in a 2008 Education Week article, physical exercise "puts the brain of the learners in the optimal position for them to learn." My methods build upon this observation by bringing physical movement into the classroom and connecting it directly to the content of the curriculum. Imagine, for example, students sitting at a desk and listening to a teacher expound on a topic with a certain amount of dialogue, questions, and answers. Think about how much brain activity is being generated. Now imagine those students working with their classmates: figuring out how to show the causes of the American Revolution through whole body shapes; climbing into the skin of a literary character or improvising a creative-movement response to a plot element; enacting a journey through the water cycle; or arranging themselves as solid, liquid, and gas...
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