Why Kinesthetic Learning?

Why Kinesthetic Learning?
Learning doesn't happen from the neck up, it happens from the feet up. Studies have shown over and over that children learn best through active movement (not just young children, but all children). We believe that by engaging our students in active movement exercises throughout the day, followed up with small group instruction and planned activities, allows for increased learning to take place. When students are involved in thoughtful, purposeful, and engaging physical activity where direction and attention is given, focus on the moment happens naturally, reducing stress and raising engagement and motivation levels. This is what is called “Mindful Movement”. When children learn through purposeful active movement they also begin to learn that it also ok to be wrong. It allows the child to think through a situation to get to the next step in an environment that they are comfortable with. This allows them the willingness to take a risk in the knowledge that it’s ok to be incorrect and grow and learn from experience. When we are learning through active movement we are often learning in a group which will naturally produce funny moments, laughter, and learning about team work and community. When we are moving our bodies we are learning about the world around us through so many of our different senses. We are having fun, memory making moments, that not only the brain will remember, but the body as well.

Studies have shown:

  • 80-85 percent of students are predominantly kinesthetic learners, which means they rely on kinesthetic intelligence for learning. 
  • When cognitive information is linked with movement, retaining and recalling the data at a later date becomes easier (Hannaford, 1995).
  • The brain operates from concrete experience. Nothing is more concrete than using movement to learn or review a concept.
  • Movement should be considered whenever teaching a new concept or standard. Using kinesthetic activities and physical movement in the learning process will aide in students’ abilities to recall  information more efficiently.
  • Various spinning, balancing, jumping, rolling, running, and combination activities can help develop and improve the vestibular system and spatial awareness. Without this awareness students may have difficulty reading, organization of written work, understanding abstract math concepts, and reproducing patterns and shapes. The more senses that are used for learning, the more likely information will be stored and retrieved from memory.
  • Anchoring content with movement combines academic pursuits and kinesthetic activities, which has been shown to increase test scores in elementary students (Blaydes Madigan & Hess, 2004).