Movement is fundamental for a child’s learning and development.
There is new scientific research regarding how the brain influences the body, and how the body influences the brain. It is shedding light on the role movement plays in learning and memory.
Incorporating movement into a child’s school day has a significant impact, as it increases what a child can remember, how they stay motivated, and how they focus.
At Summerfield Waldorf School & Farm, we use movement as a teaching tool throughout our curriculum. Because we know that movement is fundamental for learning.
Incorporating movement helps children with everything from learning their multiplication tables to understanding complex physics concepts.
“When it comes to deep learning, the brain is only part of the story.” says Annie Murphy Paul, author of the book “The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain.”
Annie continues by saying that the brain has limitations when it comes to memory, focus, motivation, and grasping abstract concepts. And these limitations can be disheartening to students, which is where movement and play come in to save the day.
In order to push past these limitations in the brain, it is important for humans to move their bodies. Humans do not do their best work sitting down. Movement is fundamental for learning and development.
These are ways that Summerfield students move throughout their days:
- Engaging in lessons outside to further solidify concepts
- Taking recesses to play between lessons
- Participating in daily eurythmy classes
- Playing sports and doing other physical activities
- Incorporating farm work into the class’ curriculum
- Learning circus techniques in our circus tent
In Waldorf education we find that movement is a necessary component of every school day.
The KQED Mindshift article, How Movement and Gestures Can Improve Student Learning, by Deborah Farmer Kris states:
“It takes a fair amount of mental bandwidth to keep our bodies still because we’re meant to be in a kind of state of constant motion. And to control your impulse to move – especially for children – uses up some of the mental resources that they could otherwise apply to their learning.”
As Henry David Thoreau wrote, “the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”
Movement is a key element of Waldorf education. So from Early Childhood through High School, Summerfield students are encouraged to play, spend time in nature, practice eurythmy, get their hands dirty on the farm, and more.
Learn more about our Early Childhood Programs, our Lower School, our High School. Schedule a tour of our beautiful campus & biodynamic farm.