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Learning is Physiological, and Begins in the Body

Debra Lambrecht, Founder, Caulbridge Education | July 6, 2014

Children being hands on a clock at Caulbridge SchoolLearning is physiological and begins in the body. Neural processes are not limited to the brain mass, but rather are distributed throughout the body in an extensive network of electrochemical activity. In fact, neurons just like those found in the brain are also found in the heart and other bodily organs. Children process, integrate and act upon information with their entire bodies. Sensory motor skills, body awareness, maturing reflexes, spatial perception and focused attention are directly related to a child’s capacity for learning.

“No part of the central nervous system works alone. Touch aids vision, vision aids balance, balance aids body awareness, body awareness aids movement and movement aids learning.”
——Carol Kranowitz, Sensory Processing expert

Self-movement or body awareness (proprioceptive sense) along with the sense of balance and sense of touch are foundational to one’s ability to perceive and learn. With the healthy development of these lower senses, brain activity is freed up to develop the more complex, social and higher thinking capacities. Perception is the registering of sensory information in the brain. Cognition is the interpretation and understanding of that information. These cognitive, intellectual abilities are higher level senses that are last to develop in the human brain. Because the young child’s brain is malleable, it is possible to strengthen these foundational aspects of physiological development as a natural process in the learning environment.

Caulbridge School understands that proper attention paid to developing neuropathways and creating optimal brain function are essential foundations for learning. Regular classroom activities help to support basic hand/eye coordination, sensory motor skills, body awareness, reflexes, focused attention, coordination, spatial perception, and ocular motor control.