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Kinesthetic learning relates to a teaching method and learning style in which learning takes place by the student actually carrying out a physical activity, rather than listening to a lecture or merely watching a demonstration. Building dioramas, physical models or participating in role-playing or historical reenactment are some examples. Other examples include the kindergarten practice of having children perform various motions from left to right in preparation for reading education.

Movement has long been used as an aid to mnemonics, as with the right-hand rule in physics. Pedagogical theorists such as Howard Gardner, however, assert that understanding of space and motion well is a distinct kind of intelligence in itself, useful in such various fields as engineering, database design, and athletics and other sports, martial arts or dance.

Some proponents of kinesthetic learning see it primarily as a way to increase association through repetition, but some proponents of "educational kinesthetics" such as Brain Gym asserts that certain physical motions increase the density of neurological networks within the brain itself, especially when practiced by growing children.

Learning style[edit | edit source]

Some people are visual learners, some kinesthetic learners, and some are auditory learners. A Kinesthetic learning style is when someone prefers to learn things from doing or being part of them. They make up about 15% of the population and struggle to pick things up by reading/ listening to things.

Students associated with this predominant learning style are thought to be natural discovery learners; they have realizations through doing, as opposed to having thought first before initiating action. The evidence on kinesthetic learners benefiting from specialized instruction or targeted materials appears mixed, because the diagnosis of learning preference is itself problematic. However researchers on both sides of the debate agree that there is data showing "that a teaching strategy based on a ‘programmed learning sequence’ and designed to favour visually- and tactilely-oriented students increased attainment for all students in the experimental group." Other studies also show that mixed modality presentations, for instance using both auditory and visual techniques, improve results for subjects across the board. [1].

Many people mistake themselves for kinesthetic/ tactile learners because they have not used the full variety of learning options, which means they cannot find the right learning state for them. The kinesthetic learner usually does well in things such as chemistry experiments, sporting activities, and acting. They also may listen to music while learning or studying. It is common for kinesthetic learners to focus on two different things at the same time. They will remember things by going back in their minds to what their body was doing. They also have very high hand-eye co-ordination and very quick receptors. They use phrases such as "I can see myself doing that" and "It's starting to come alive".

See also[edit | edit source]

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  1. Coffield, F., Moseley, D., Hall, E., Ecclestone, K. (2004). Learning styles and pedagogy in post-16 learning. A systematic and critical review. London: Learning and Skills Research Centre.
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