Friday, July 01, 2022

Movement builds the child's brain...

Part of what I've been up to over the last few years has been to examine learning, how we learn, and how we can design schooling to be responsive to how we learn best. I've been extremely lucky to have the woodshop at the Clear Spring School as a laboratory for my own growth. Now,  with my retirement from Clear Spring School, I'm in need of additional ways to share what I've learned.

In my book, The Wisdom of Our Hands, I was only able to touch the surface of all that's known about the subject of how our hands form the foundations of character and intellect for the child, and also for society at large.

The following link is to an interesting article on the relationship between movement and brain development that should be informing every educator in the US. 

Understanding the relationship between movement and brain development is of particular importance as children are held captive at desks, and as we've all become captivated and captive to digital devices. 

The hands I take symbolic as they represent the whole child's body, mind and spirit of full engagement in life. And you can help. If you are lucky enough to have young people in your own life, do things with them. If you are a teacher, rebel at least strongly enough to get your students out of their desks, doing real things, and cast aside the yoke of standardized testing and standardized expectations. If you are a policy maker, or administrator, reduce class sizes to enable teachers to better relate to the individual needs and interests of each child. And if you are a parent, please understand that children are not clockwork. They don't all grow at a standardized rate, and their bodily maturity that comes from doing real things in the real world is more important than reading a book, and that the two are closely related.

You can see in the video, that Clear Spring School students' play with blocks is both physical and intellectual. Our Froebel playground is always in flux as designed by our kids.

Make, fix and create...

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