The Brain Gym Program And How It Enhances Learning
Brain Gym is a nonprofit organization based in Ventura, California. It offers various exercises to help kids learn by improving focus, memory, self-responsibility, attitude, organizational skills and overall learning skills. It has its own educational philosophy that emphasizes making learning a more active experience for kids mostly through physical movements. Today, Brain Gym is used in classrooms all over the United States and United Kingdom. It is now used in 87 different countries and has been translated into 40 languages.
The History Of Brain Gym
In the 1980's, a pair of educators in California started the Educational Kinesiology organization from which Brain Gym was developed. Based on the relationship between movement and perception, they took a number of physical activities that they'd found success with in the classroom and put them all together. With a little creativity from both, these activities became the basis of Brain Gym. It was first introduced in classroom in the UK and has since spread all over the world.
The Brain Gym Philosophy
Although the methodology of Brain Gym gets quite complicated, it centers around 26 physical exercises that are designed to help kids learn better. The whole idea is that humans learn through movement. Founder Paul Dennison says, "Movement is the door to learning." Although designed to be used in classrooms, it can actually be used by people of any age and ability for many different reasons.
How Brain Gym Is Used In The Classroom
Teachers can use Brain Gym exercises in any number of ways. It is meant to enhance curriculums that are already being used. When students get "stuck" in studying something, the teacher can get them out of their seats, on their feet and doing one of the many exercises to get their minds flowing again. These exercises can be used for individuals or the whole class as a group.
Criticism Of Brain Gym
While it sounds good in theory, some people have criticized Brain Gym for a number of reasons. First, they charge that it is pseudoscientific; indeed, everything in the program is based on theories and ideas without proven research. The program has also produced no measurable results beyond lots of testimonials from people who feel like it helped them. Others charge that the exercises are nothing new and are in fact nothing at all more than things like rubbing your belly with one hand while patting your head with the other.
The Benefits Of Brain Gym
Still, Brain Gym is something worth checking out if you'd like to try something new. It gets kids off their feet, gives them much needed breaks from studying and it's fun for them.
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