Why Do Students Learn Better When They Move Their Bodies Instead?

By Katie HeadrickTaylor, University of Washington

My son’s kindergarten teachers, who taught at Zoom last year, instructed: “Eyes watch, ears listen, voices are quiet, bodies are still.” However, I noticed that my 6-year-old son’s hands were busy with items found around our house. sculpting with blocks, clay or scribbling with crayons.

While some may describe this child as “off-duty”, recommends research Manipulating the materials activated his mind, enabling him to focus on the necessary task.

as a parent two school-age children and professor and researcher of learning with technologyI believe that current distance education models are inadequate for learning, teaching and productivity.

This is because sitting in front of a computer screen puts people away or completely removes them from many environments. their body’s ability to make sense. In order to learn in the most efficient way, our mind, movement of our bodyworking with a various toolsto be in dynamic places and we have collaborators nearby.

The body’s role in thinking

Most importantly, distance learning assumes that as long as the mind is engaged, it is okay to stay still. But this argument back.

Research from embodied cognition—the study of the body’s role in thinking—shows that the body must first interact with the world. Activate and open mind to learn.

Therefore, for example, students working with various tools and equipment during a learning activity, better understanding of abstract concepts, for example, gravitational acceleration or fractions.

Asking students to sit still while they do their work increases their cognitive loador the burden on the mind. Seeking ways to create meaning requires them to quiet their bodies and focus on the primary task that anchors them to their desks or digital screens.

as psychologists Christine Langhanns and Hermann Müller From studies of people solving math problems, it was concluded: “Sitting quietly is not the best condition for learning in school.”

importance of gesture

gesture is another basic use of the body for thinking and learning.

People’s hand gestures, head turns, and shrugs not only add nuance and emphasis to the words spoken to the audience, gestures help speakers turn their thoughts into words before they speak.

In problem solving scenarios, Research shows that For many math students, their gestures demonstrate an understanding of strategies before expressing these solutions through speech. This way, educators trained to seek and understand gestures can see a student’s progress and progress in understanding concepts before a student can translate that understanding into speech or a written test.

In addition, educators and other experts, use gestures to explain concepts more efficiently to students and novices. Movements make abstractions visible and give them temporary form.

Therefore, a view of the whole person makes it easy to learn from one another. But that stands in stark contrast to a year spent seeing only the faces of schoolmates and teachers or an empty box.

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get ready to move

Some students – due to health or other concerns – will stay online this school year, while others will return to in-person classes. I believe both school models can better combine the body to support learning. The following tips are for educators designing distance or face-to-face classrooms, but parents and students can also encourage and help maintain an active classroom culture.

  1. Normalize movement during classes, not just during movement breaks. For example, run a neighborhood inquiry mode for today’s science lesson. Ask students to bring their observations back to the whole group.
  2. Begin each class with time to put together different materials to think and work with, such as notebooks and different types of paper, various writing and drawing instruments, putty and blocks. Combine interaction with these tools throughout the lesson.
  3. Encourage and use movements. If online, invite camera use and step back to give students a wider view.
  4. Make time for students to adjust to how their bodies are feeling as a window into their emotional state.
  5. Provide opportunities for repetition by repeating a task in different contexts and with different tools and people who engage the body in different ways. The content or big idea remains the same, but how and with whom students engage changes.
  6. If you’re online, try video conferencing platforms like: Whoa trying to replicate physical proximity and movement in a virtual space.
  7. Think of the classroom as an outward stretching space. school campus and neighborhood. Allowing students to experience a familiar place in a different way with their classmates and teachers can awaken new perspectives and thoughts.

Teachers, parents, and students can change their expectations of what “on duty” looks like. Walking, running, or dancing may not seem relevant to the specific task at hand, but these activities are often helpful. people do their best. Activating the body activates the mind, so “seat time” might be better called “event time”.Speech

Katie HeadrickTaylor, Associate Professor of Learning Sciences and Human Development, University of Washington

This article has been republished from: Speech Under Creative Commons license. Reading original article.

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