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Kinesthetic Learning Modality
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The other ones—kinesthetic learners—have, as their primary learning mode, movement. Movement of any kind during the learning process helps the person absorb information and retain it as permanent memory (also defined as Learning, thus ignoring the other kind of learning which is understanding the process and the content). Some points:

1. There may be many more kinesthetic learners than are identified as such, because “good” children make strenuous efforts to conform and learn through their secondary modes of visual and/or auditory. Once broken to that saddle, the child conforms to requirements and the teacher chalks up another “success.” This happens during the very early school years when preschool and kindergarten children are required to sit quietly and are praised for it; movement is considered disruptive and the disruptive child is given a “time out”—equivalent to social isolation or even solitary banishment. Strong stuff to motivate a child to find another way to conform, if he can.

2. They may be diagnosed—wrongly—as attention deficit children because they cannot sit still and learn; our classroom culture demands they do just that; they end up restless, distracted and out of step. Then they are medicated to bring them to the norm.

I escaped the fate of the heavily medicated, but I did learn to learn through the visual medium. It wasn’t until college, when I was taking psychology classes, that I realized I was/am first and foremost a kinesthetic learner/thinker. I did my best work when riding my bicycle, or waiting on tables (I worked my way through Stanford as an undergraduate).

I can remember going for a long bike ride along the breakwater my junior year in high school; by the time I returned after dark I had memorized all the rules of English grammar (in my head) for the final exam next day, after three years of struggling to get them under management control. They were there, clear as they could be (we’re talking English grammar here, remember) and I’ve never forgotten them.

When I became a teacher myself I remembered the lesson and I always gave students who needed to move around the chance to do so. School administrators and other teachers disapproved (children should sit at their desks and be quiet) but my students always did exceptionally well on the standardized tests, so administrators and parents had no real grounds for complaint.

I described the three modes of learning to each class and my applications of it on their behalf. They understood me and would sometimes themselves suggest new approaches to a lesson, when I was trying to make my instruction of the day satisfy all three approaches.

The administration and other teachers, hidebound, never got it.

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