Additional Benefits for Special-Needs Learners
Many teachers have found that programs that include movement help learners with special needs. Several hypotheses may explain this phenomenon. Many special-needs learners are stuck in counterproductive mental states, and movement is a quick way to change them. Second, movements, such as those involved in playing active games, will activate the brain across a wide variety of areas. It may be the stimulation of those neural networks that helps trigger some learning. For other students, it may be the rise in energy, the increased blood flow, and the amines that put them in a better mood to think and recall. Some routines that call for slower movement can do the reverse, calming down students who are overactive, hence supporting a state of concentration. (more…)
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Research study June 10, 2008
Acute coordinative exercise improves attentional performance in adolescents
Exercise has been shown to positively affect cognitive performance. Due to the neuronal connection between the cerebellum and the prefrontal cortex, we hypothesize that cognitive performance might be already visible after short bouts of exercise.
The summary reads:
…Bilateral coordinative exercise was effective in completing the concentration and attention task (after exercise that raised the heart rate). With the heart rate being the same in both groups, we assume that the coordinative nature of the exercise might be responsible for the significant differences. Bilateral coordinative exercise lead to the pre-activation of parts of the brain which are also responsible for mediating functions like attention.
Taken together, our results support the request for more short bouts of exercise in schools with a focus on coordinative skills, for example. via instructed exercise in school breaks. The fact that our results were achieved with students of an elite performance school, where students practice sport every day (25-30 hours per week) supports our demand for more acute coordinative exercise.
Henning Budde, Claudia Voelcker-Rehage, Sascha Pietrasyk- Kendziorra, Pedro Ribeiro, Gunter Tidow
The Department of Movement and Training Science, Humboldt University in Berlin Germany
Jacobs Center of Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development, Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany
Bioscience Department, School of Physical Education, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil