The young — and the elderly — need movement to learn and to maintain good brain health. Ancient cultures practiced this of necessity; modern man is only now learning this through science and through the contrast of a sedentary, “captive” lifestyle. In the midst of the great achievements of America, we have a health disaster. We need to learn from ancient and primitive man — i.e., we need to learn about the human condition by not looking only at ourselves, but by casting our inductive net far and wide. We are jumping to conclusions about health and lifestyle; we need valid induction and integration.
In “Why Kids Need to Move, Touch and Experience to Learn,” Katrina Schwartz writes:
Scholarly study goes back a long time in history, but in terms of human evolution, many of the academic skills now required for successful functioning in the world are fairly new to the human brain. As neuroscientists investigate how humans learn, they often find that newer skills and aptitudes are mapped onto areas of the brain that also control basic body functions. Increasingly, this work is helping to illuminate neurological connections between the human body, its environment and the process of learning.
Maria Montessori highlighted the connection between minds and bodies in her 1936 book The Secret of Childhood: “Movement, or physical activity, is thus an essential factor in intellectual growth, which depends upon the impressions received from outside. Through movement we come in contact with external reality, and it is through these contacts that we eventually acquire even abstract ideas.”
Let’s have more movement in education. We need education more Aristotelian, and a lot less (none!) Platonic and Kantian.