• What You Need to Know about Kinesthetic Learning

  • As most of us know, there are multiple approaches to learning. Some people consider themselves “visual learners,” others “auditory learners,” and so on. But there is one learning style that has an importance which is often overlooked in the classroom: kinesthetic learning.


    So, what is kinesthetic learning? Also known as the hands-on approach, the kinesthetic learning style is characterized by preferring to understand by doing, rather than seeing or hearing. This method is especially crucial in elementary classrooms. Consider that young minds are not yet capable of holding attention as easily as, say, high school or college students. Therefore, it seems understandable that interactive learning works best in earlier grades—and that lectures should stay in upper school.


    Kinesthetic (or tactile) learning has been deemed beneficial for the developing brain. Think about it: the sense of touch is never “turned off.” We often find out more about an object’s concept by feeling its physical properties. Children instinctively reach for an object when they’re curious about its purpose.


    You may also notice that some students swing their legs, fidget, or become restless at their desks. The chances are good that they’re not trying to be a distraction. Instead, their bodies need movement to stimulate the processing of new information.


    Studies have shown that touch is associated with improved learning, but also influences positive social and emotional growth. Problem solving, reading comprehension, language, social skills, and critical thinking are all abilities which can become underdeveloped. The lower structures of the brain, responsible for sensory motor skills, are exercised through stimulating activities. This means that we learn from processing our environment through the senses, and one of the most accessible ways to do this is by touch.


    When implementing a kinesthetic approach, keep in mind that movement and change of scenery is very important. Make sure that your students have enough room to move around. Breaking up lessons into smaller portions will also help with keeping students’ attention. This will allow them time to process rather than feeling overwhelmed with an information overload.