What is Educational Kinesiology?
Edu-K was the outcome of over 20 years of experimentation and experiential research by specialist educator Paul Dennison, PhD, and his wife and colleague Gail E. Dennison, beginning in the 1960s. At his remedial learning centres in California, Paul noticed that people who came for help with learning challenges often had postural, physical or perceptual stresses and inhibitions.
Paul and Gail Dennison describe the interdependence of movement, cognition and applied learning as the basis of their work:
For the last century, educational training of the classroom teacher has been based on the premise that learning is a mental activity. Physical components of learning – the visual, auditory, fine motor and postural skills – have been almost entirely ignored by educators. A student who has difficulty in the early grades rarely does better later on unless the physical cause of the stress is somehow addressed. Moreover, since learning is measured by results rather than by process, stressful compensations are often acquired and carried throughout a learner’s life.
Paul found that the physical activities and techniques he was developing could sometimes ease the compensatory patterns that had arisen in his clients and encourage co-ordinated and integrated movement patterns. As the physical blocks released, learners were better able to express their innate intelligence and abilities.
Educational Kinesiology draws on techniques and tools from a number of disciplines, including behavioural optometry, kinesiology, postural alignment therapies, learning theory and sport. Click here for more information on the founders and the Edu-K organisation.
What are Brain Gym® activities?
Through trial and experience, Paul developed a core set of 26 physical activities, which he named ‘Brain Gym’ activities. The Brain Gym activities became the foundation movement programme of his Educational Kinesiology system. You can click here to find out more about Paul and Gail Dennison and how the Edu-K programme came into being.
Brain Gym movements, exercises or activities recall the movements naturally done during the first years of life when learning to co-ordinate the eyes, ears, hands, and whole body. Clients, teachers and students have been reporting for over 30 years on the effectiveness of these simple activities. Even though it is not fully clear yet ‘why’ these movements work so well, people in many countries report they bring about perceptible and meaningful improvements.
You can learn all 26 activities by attending a Brain Gym 101 Foundation Course. This course is the gateway to becoming a Brain Gym Movement Facilitator, offering greater scope to teach the movements as an independent professional. Further professional level training broadens the opportunities to use the Brain Gym activities in other contexts and to learn many other techniques from the Educational Kinesiology programme for self-development.
What are the concepts behind the Edu-K programme?
- Learning is a innate gift we are all born with.
- True learning is an experience that involves the body as well as the mind.
- Edu-K helps us reclaim our natural joy and sense of adventure in learning.
- When we learn more about ourselves it empowers us to make changes and achieve our potential.
- Learning to move more freely enhances our ability to release old effortful patterns.
- Our attitudes and beliefs are reflected in our posture and movements and we can use specific movement techniques to make positive changes.
Originally created to help children and adults who had learning challenges, Edu-K is now used by people in over 80 countries to bring balance in their lives and enhance their abilities across a very wide range of areas. The international Educational Kinesiology Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in the US: www.breakthroughsinternational.org and you can find a worldwide map here. In the UK, the affiliated professional membership body is the Educational Kinesiology Trust Ltd, a private company run on a non-profit basis with a Board of Directors who donate their time for free.
Edu-K can be accessed through private sessions, customised trainings and courses with licensed Brain Gym Instructors and Consultants. Books and materials are also available. To find out more about what Edu-K may hold for you, we recommend you contact your local Edu-K Professional. They will be happy to discuss the types of issues people hope to improve by attending a session and the skills they could acquire by attending a training.
If you would like a taster of the Edu-K programme, why not book a session for yourself or attend an introductory course. Some Edu-K Professionals specialise the focus of their session work, such as with children, adults, sport, early motor development, writing skills etc. You can find out more about individual specialisms in the Profile Pages linked to each listing in the professional directory.