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More movement boosts learning

More movement in math and spelling classes let pupils gain four months of learning in two years time

Recently researchers from Holland published a study that looked at differences between normal classes and classes where activity was introduced to teach math and reading/spelling. In a period of two years 499 pupils from 12 different school at 8.1 years in average took part in three weekly classes with movement as part of teaching. All schools had an equal amount of control classes that did as before. It is well known through other studies that movement has a short term positive effect on learning. This is one of few studies until now that has made a long intervention and evaluated academic achievement.

The activities where related to the tasks performed but where also regular activities. Soo the pupils did things like boxing in the air, walking/stepping fast at one place or different movement that where related to the tasks. The movements was made into a part of how they learned.

Interesting things happened. At first the new type of classes where funny and the pupils liked them. Later the classes became more regular and blended into a way of learning. After the two years the results was that they gained four more months in spelling and math achievement compared with control children.

The conclusions where that physical activity should be integrated in math andlanguage lessons to optimally improve those important skills.

As we celebrate movement as essential for human achievements this study tells an important story for our uprising generations. As movement is vital to us all we continue to point out the potential is has to change our lives. To gain four months of teaching is a strong message about how our brains function better when the body is moved and when circulation flows stronger.


Read the abstract here:


March 2016, VOLUME 137 / ISSUE 3

Physically Active Math and Language Lessons Improve Academic Achievement: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

Marijke J. Mullender-Wijnsma, Esther Hartman, Johannes W. de Greeff, Simone Doolaard, Roel J. Bosker, Chris Visscher

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