Friday afternoons...

I was sitting back this past Friday afternoon when an email popped into my inbox. It was from EducationHQ, a publication to which I no longer subscribed. The title caught my attention.

Why telling students to ‘sit still’ might stunt their learning: experts

The article itself was ‘busy’, in that it covered quite a lot, though perhaps not in significant detail. It did however touch on a few important points which I think are worth noting:

1) Those who regulate education and determine classroom furnishing like uniformity. This has resulted in little change over the years. In some cases, change has been adopted it’s gone too far….sofas and beanbags…. many teachers agree that we need to find a middle ground.

2) Neurological and Cognitive benefits of movement. This is where I thought the article was light on detail, talking about the ‘swelling body of research showing the undeniable fusion between movement and learning’. This point alone should be enough to get the attention of educators, or at least have them question whether they are providing a fit for purpose offering.

3) Environment not being conducive to learning, and actually constraining what is natural i.e., movement. It did touch on students having a less developed vestibular systems as a result.

NB: I had to Google ‘What’s is the Vestibular System?”. Turns out is ‘the sensory that is responsible for providing our brain with information about motion, head position, and spatial orientation’.

So, the message to people making decisions about learning and how their students interact with their environment is quite clear. Provide students with options to move within their learning environment, and don’t inhibit what is natural.

You might even find that students get better academic results.


Jonathan Brunello

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