Thursday, August 18, 2011

Shouldn't Every Classroom Be Moveable?

This article is a must share, it made my night, especially because I have a daughter who was made for loving this classroom style.  These pictures are from Pinehill Waldorf School in New Hampshire, where they have decided to follow their European brothers (it's big in Europe!) and neuroscience and make a classroom where kids can wholly learn. So refreshing, inspiring and revolutionary to see the whole child, the child who loves to learn and needs to move, addressed in something so taken for granted, a desk.

Here is an excerpt:

"Evidence indicates, for example, that there is a connection between postural control and the executive function of attention. Postural control is the ability to stabilize the trunk, neck, and head so that skilled tasks, such as reading and writing, can occur. Executive functions (EFs)are cognitive abilities such as attention, self-control, and problem-solving that govern other learning tasks. In the early elementary years, if postural tone is weak (i.e., when a child’s body lacks sufficient muscle tension to maintain an upright position), there are greater demands placed on the executive system (i.e., a child needs her brain power to stabilize her balance rather than to focus on a lesson). This means that a child has fewer cognitive resources to use for paying attention. Slouching in a chair, fidgeting and wiggling, or flopping over a desk are symptoms of postural fatigue and therefore poor attention. So, when we help a child develop her postural control, her executive function of attention can switch over to learning."

My heart leaps because it is so obvious that in addition to all of the developmental neural boosting, it is just fertilizer for self-esteem: the owning a workspace that can be shared with a partner, used individually, turned upside down and balanced on, and carried across a room.  Please read this article.  The moveable classroom is amazing!  I have never seen anything more child friendly than a moveable classroom.  I sound like Dr. Suess.

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