Cultivating the Physical Aspects of Learning

October 16:For the last two days, I’ve been teaching the Master in Depth course, where I’m happy to see both old and new faces. There are 57 students, 17 of whom are attending from Italy, so we have two translators—Italian and Swiss German. Students began by refining their goals and starting to discover how the goals we set can relate to the way we move.

During the course, I facilitated reading balances for several people. The Edu-K balance, which Gail and I developed and call the Five Steps to Easy Learning, takes people through five quick and essential stages, each identified by particular actions that support the internalization of new learning. Since I see learning as an active process, one that isn’t complete until individuals make new learning their own, I look for the “aha!”s that are evident in people’s voice or demeanor as they read.

In one demonstration, the volunteer was a woman I’ll call Anja who had for her whole life been bothered by a functionally lazy left eye. When she initially read, her reading was linear and somewhat mechanical, reflecting a left-brain language lead, as is commonly the case for right-eye-only readers. Although the brain is more complex than this, I use this simplistic metaphor to help people identify the cognitive functions they commonly use as they read, as well as those they haven’t yet learned. I explained that the left hemisphere functions temporally (over time) and helps readers to decode and analyze new words, so helpful for learning new vocabulary. For fluent adult reading and instant word recognition, the more spatial right hemisphere, working together with the left, is essential. During the balance, Anja was thrilled to discover for the first time how to access eye teaming. As she learned to track her left eye together with the right, both her reading and her handwriting became noticeably fluent and expressive.

By day two, workshop participants had fine-tuned their use of the Edu-K balances not only to improve reading and writing skills, but also to enhance their own perceptual abilities. I love working with these enthusiastic people, and enjoy guiding them to see new possibilities by moving in new ways.

© 2012 by Paul E. Dennison. All Rights Reserved.


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