The term kinesthetic learning describes a style of learning that integrates touch and movement. This style of learning is often associated with sensorial learning. Sensorial learning is a teaching approach that encourages early learners to use their five senses to explore and understand their environment. Sensory play is an important part of many teaching methods and curricula.
Kinesthetic learning does not stop once a child ages out of a Montessori classroom. Kinesthetic learning is such an effective method of teaching, it will likely continue well into the workplace. Working interviews, on-the-job training and even astronaut space simulators are all examples of kinesthetic learning.
A kinesthetic-tactile learning style requires that you manipulate or touch material to learn. To provide a multi-sensory learning experience, it is imperative that students are provided with manipulatives and/or project-based curricula and activities. Role-playing exercises and experiments promote kinesthetic learning opportunities as well.
Benefits of Kinesthetic Learning:
Humans learn better when they use more than one of their senses to take in information. Not just humans, do you use a hand command when you tell Fido to sit? I do. The great Chinese philosopher Confucius said, “Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand.”
Studies show that stimulating the senses through sensorial play enhances motor memory and promotes neurological development in young children.
Learning by doing promotes critical thinking and problem-solving, for all ages and stages of life.
Provides the opportunity to work in groups on projects or experiments; promoting teamwork and social emotional development. At home, in the classroom or the workplace.
Addresses the needs of learners who have attention and/or executive functioning disorders. Many students NEED motion and activity in order to focus on a task. Children and adults who have been diagnosed with ADD, ADHD or varying levels of ASD often require fidgets to improve their attention.
Gifted students are often kinesthetic learners. “When they are not allowed to move, they switch to their standby mode. That may have influenced their school career negatively, and instilled a lack of confidence regarding their intelligence. At work, lengthy meetings while sitting down may feel like torture to them.” Read more: Intergifted.com
At The Sensory Site, we know that children (and adults!) learn by doing. We believe that all students should have access to manipulative and project-based curricula.