Tuesday, December 16, 2008

restoration of intellect

These days, of scientific testing, we tend to the regard the expression of intellect as being of greater importance than other factors in schools. We test for it through hours of standardized testing, and we hold teachers accountable for their children's performance. As parents we worry about how our children will measure up.

Before we get too serious, take just a moment and smile. There is a direct relationship between what happens in the body with how we feel. It has been proved that to alter one's facial expressions has direct impact on how we feel. Move your face into a smile and you actually begin to feel better.

Now take a moment to raise your head, lifting your torso into a more vertical posture. You may feel that this also affects your emotions. Back in the early days of Kindergarten, posture was considered an important skill that prepared students for learning.

We know that among the various symptoms of depression are loss of memory, and inability to make connections between things, obvious signs of intellectual impairment.

Can you see the direct relationship between the body, the emotions, and the intellect?

All of this is quite obvious to many in the progressive schools movement, but something that many on the administrative end seem to be missing. And it helps to explain why hands-on activities are so important in schools, and why hands-on learning is so much more powerful than what we may find in books and lectures.

The movement of the hands in crafts, music, scientific exploration and gesture directly stimulates the emotional engagement of the child, increasing intellectual involvement in school, increasing mental capacity of each student and both short term and long term retention of skill and knowledge.

Need I say more? I guess I could tell about how Clear Spring School uses the engagement of the hands to build greater confidence, emotional engagement and intellect.

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