Kinesthetic Learning: We Learn Better on our Feet than in our Seat!

Kinesthetic learning or movement is a staple in our courses;  we use it all the time. We know it's effective with all ages from kindergarteners to graduate students, but do we have any brain-based research to back it up?

In his book How the Brain Learns David Sousa provides one explanation:

"When we sit for more than twenty minutes, our blood pools in our seat and in our feet. Within a minute [of getting up], there is about 15% more blood in our brain. We do think better on our feet than on our seat! Students sit too much in classrooms, especially in secondary schools. Look for ways to get students up and moving, especially when they are verbally rehearsing what they have learned" (34).

This also speaks to the fact that as arts-based educators we need to have the language to explain our methods to others. So next time you have the students up and moving and your principal comes into your room wondering what's going on, simply relay this information and then ask him or her to join you in movement.


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