Kinesthetic Classrooms

Judy Molland:

Next, we need kinesthetic pulpits!

Across the U.S., the amount of time devoted to physical education and to recess has been declining sharply.Educators at Charleston County Schools, in South Carolina, want to change this approach. They know that more movement and exercise makes kids better learners.

“If you went to anybody who’s in education, you say PE versus instruction? they say instruction every time,”says David Spurlock, the coordinator of health, wellness and physical education for the Charleston County school district. “But what we’re trying to show is that more movement equals better grades, better behavior, better bodies.” 

How does this work? One popular approach at Charles Pinckney Elementary School in Charleston is Active Brains, a program that uses action-based learning to support the link of movement and physical activity to increased academic performance. Bobby Sommers, an instructor at the school, teaches in a room composed of fifteen different stations that students rotate through during the class; each station has a unique exercise component, such as a mini-basketball hoop or an exercise bike, and is also focused on a different academic task, maybe spelling or math flashcards.

inesthetic Desks   Inside a different classroom at this school, writes Rick Maese for The Washington Post, “Twenty eight fifth-graders sit at the specially outfitted kinesthetic desks. Some of them pedal bikes, some march on climbers, some swivel, some stand at their desks and sway back and forth. But almost everyone in the class is moving all day long – even the teacher. Stacey Shoecraft is stationed at the front of the room in a full-size strider, delivering instruction and lesson plans while exercising almost from the morning until the afternoon bells.”

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.