Physical movement in the elementary school classroom boost effective learning

Courtesy: Kids Adventure


Most schools, whether it’s an international school in the Philippines, or a public school, most students are expected to just sit there and listen to a teacher drawl on about whatever lecture is planned for the day.

It has been discovered that students learn better when they are engaged in an activity, instead of just sitting in the classroom. The experience sticks to them better than only hearing it from a teacher, and this helps them make a deeper connection to whatever is being taught to them.

According to a 2008 Education Week article written by Professor John Ratey of Harvard Medical School, physical exercise can help bring the brain into the best possible state for it to learn. Physical activity can be connected to whatever is laid out in the curriculum. Some of the ways that this can be achieved is plays in the classroom, reenacting scenes that happened in history. It depends on the teacher how they can connect physical activity to the lesson.


How does movement improve learning?

The part of the brain that controls movement also works together with the part of the brain that regulates incoming data from the senses, which also controls attention. This active relationship between two parts of the brain is what turns thoughts into actions, and what controls coordination.

When students experience what they are learning, they also make connections to it, such as the time it happened, the emotions they are feeling, who they are with, when it happened, where it happened, and why it happened. It becomes a personal experience for them, and this enables them to figuratively travel back in time and remember more clearly. This makes it a more meaningful learning experience together with their classmates as they experience the learning together.


What else can kind of learning improve?

This learning experience can help bring out children’s inner talents and let them shine. The classroom activities can foster their creativity and understanding. And since they work with their classmates, communicating becomes less difficult.

By helping students engage more in class, those who do not have any confidence in their academic skills or are trapped or caught in failure have an opportunity to get out of that trap and allow them to participate as leaders. This can strengthen the community students feel in their class.

Aside from learning about the lesson, they can also learn other skills they will need well into adult life such as communication, responsibility, teamwork, giving and taking, taking risks, and leading and following. This helps them become able to work with other people and create bonds with them, and invest their energy in the output of their activity.

Learning by experience can also help students realize that they don’t need to be a specific thing to be able to do something. They don’t need to be great at everything to be able to learn and communicate with others. They only need to be able to connect their physical experience to what they are learning

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