How we learn

We went to a talk at the school earlier tonight about Individual Learning Profiles. Simon Olding from MovementInMind came into the school to talk to parents and staff about the software that the school has been trialling. He had already been working with the school with great results with the BrainGym over the past few years.

He explained that we all favour a dominant hand, eye, ear, foot and brain hemisphere. The combinations of these dominances affects the ways in which we are best able to learn. For example some people may visualise, others may be more hands on and others may need to take notes for information to be absorbed.

By using a series of tests or questions it is possible to identify fairly accurately the dominant side in each of the cases and then by entering the results into the software an Individual Learning Profile is produced for the person. All of the children at Watling are being assessed and their results entered to provide a profile for each child and also one for each class summarising the class characteristics and suggesting teaching techniques that will work best for the types of learners and best seating locations for learning. Sample reports are available on the Individual Learning Profiles section of MovementInMind.

It was an engaging talk with participation from parents as we did some of the simple tests. Simon puts a lot of importance in not just identifying the hurdles to learning but providing exercises to help improve whole brain learning and reducing stress. For one example of this, I was a volunteer. Simon had asked for people who were not overly flexible and had difficulty touching their toes. Now, although I trained in aikido for several years, I have never been flexible, so I was an ideal candidate. First he had us try to touch our toes as a benchmark,
then we did a stress reduction exercise which involved massaging our ears to increase blood flow. After we had done this exercise he asked us to try touching our toes again. I was surprised, I actually stretched a further 2-3 inches. This was after a simple exercise that lasted maybe a couple of minutes.

This looks to be a very interesting approach which will allow parents to understand how their children best learn and what exercises can be done to help improve their learning capability.

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