A day at a Movement Based Learning Course

It was an important day for Shew Mee Lai and Koh Li Li, both newly minted Movement Based Learning (MBL) instructors, as they prepared to teach the course to a group of parents who have children with learning challenges, under the watchful eyes of their mentor, Foo Wan Ching, a certified MBL instructor from Breakthru Academy.   Parents getting into their learning paces. Movement Based Learning (MBL) is developed by Cecilia Koester, an educator who specialises in teaching people with special needs, particularly children. Attending an MBL course opens up a world of possibilities for parents, carers, teachers and anyone who work with people who have physical or mental challenges. In this course, you learn why an individual is not progressing and you are given tools to help you “help someone learn how to learn”. That is true. A person with special needs may be clueless as to how something can be done because his/her body system has not been wired properly and is not ready to receive input or does not know how to send out information. Incoming and outgoing information are stuck in an inaccessible place. The movements taught in MBL are based on foundational pieces that have to be in place for learning to take place with more ease. MBL seeks to untangle the wires. During the course, Mee Lai and Li Li introduced structural dimensions in our body that influence our abilities to focus, to comprehend and to communicate in order to learn. The beauty of MBL is the simplicity in the way it is taught. Participants learn about the functions and roles of the various parts of the brain in very visible ways and experience the movements and perhaps most importantly to notice for themselves the differences they felt. As that very well-known statistics state, as human beings, we retain 90% of what we say and do. The tools taught are the seven building blocks. There were games to enhance “noticing skills” between the before and after experiences of a movement. Mee Lai and Li Li described the movements of the seven building blocks and demonstrated the movements. The basis of each building block was explained in detail and participants followed through by practising the movements on each other and sharing their experiences. Breakthru Academy always pairs a new instructor with an experienced instructor as a mentor, in this instance it was Foo Wan Ching. To Mee Lai, it was very encouraging and she felt supported during the course. It was also very instructive and enriching for her as Wan Ching also shared her own experiences and personal observations. While Mee Lai is a staff of Breakthru Academy, Li Li is the owner of Little Sun, a children educational centre in Kajang. Little Sun is the first children centre to adopt the learning system that has been developed by Breakthru Academy. Li Li shares stories of how the various techniques and concepts have helped to prepare the children at her centre, particularly those with special needs, for easier and more successful learning. A teacher, Amy, liked the course and the way it was conducted. “ Easy to remember and do because the facilitators take time to teach us and then we get to experience the movements ourselves. I am going to use these movements with the children I teach", she said enthusiastically. A parent, Som added with a smile, “ I can do the movements with my son easily and I believe these will help him”. "When we look behind the behaviour, we see that little struggling human, who needs our help with something." REBECCA EANES Presently, the course can be conducted in either English or Mandarin. You can learn more about Cecilia Koester and her work at http://www.movementbasedlearning.com/about/about.html.



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