The word education comes from the latin root “educere” which means “to draw out” while the word kinesiology means “movement”. Therefore, Edu-K is the study of drawing out innate intelligence through natural movement experiences.
The Educational Kinesiology Foundation is a California, USA 501(c)3 non-profit public benefit corporation which owns the registered trademark BRAIN GYM. More widely known as Brain Gym® International, our organization is committed to the principle that movement is the door to optimal living and learning. The Edu-K curriculum of over 500 hours reflects this value.
The Brain Gym ® Mission is based on the principle that intentional movement leads to optimal learning.
Every day there are new advances in knowledge about the brain and its plasticity, the more we practice a movement, it becomes more automatic. Our brain goes beyond its location in the skull. It spreads throughout the body through neural networks.
The most common way to experience the Brain Gym® activities is to attend the introductory 24 hour course, Brain Gym®101. This course addresses the physical skills associated with learning and achievement. Participants experience a five step learning process called a balance and the twenty-six Brain Gym® movements, which are divided into four categories: Midline Movements, Energy Exercises, Deepening Attitudes and Lengthening Activities.
The work is based upon empirical experience rather than neurological research. Influences include child development and movement experts, innovative educators, specialists in developmental vision, and chiropractic movement educators.
Edu-K’s philosophy encourages self-responsibility and self-assessment. Participants are invited to explore and discover their own learning processes. To meet this objective, the courses and individual sessions are built around activities that encourage experience, initiative and evaluation. This is the heuristic model of education, the “drawing out” model of learning.
The philosophy is further based on the knowledge that humans learn through movement. As founder Paul Dennison says, “Movement is the door to learning.” Throughout life, stress can affect the capacity to move and inhibit the ability to comprehend, organize, and communicate. At certain times, people may notice that thinking, feeling, or sensing may influence performance. In Edu-K, we observe and address movement patterns with the intention of restoring the skills associated with successful achievement.
The Edu-K Foundation has an ongoing commitment to evaluate, assess, and develop its practices and principles. We emphasize the use of a wide variety of “noticing” tools that teach self-responsibility through self-observation of physical, emotional, and intellectual systems.
This simple, yet powerful, program is used by people of all ages and abilities for a variety of reasons.
It is probably best known for its effectiveness in school classrooms, the arena for which it was first developed. Additionally, people with special needs and learning challenges benefit from Edu-K and the Brain Gym® program by using modifications of some of the movements and activities. The Edu-K Foundation makes no medical claims nor diagnoses.
However, the Brain Gym® work is not limited to the educational field and special needs. It is also being used successfully by corporations, athletics, health professions, families, and individuals.
The Educational Kinesiology Foundation encourages people to use, play with, and explore information learned. However, only licensed instructor/consultants can teach, advertise, or collect fees for the Brain Gym® program.
Children with educational special needs and severe learning problems can benefit positively Brain Gym® program. Instructors specialize in this area of work intensive programs may recommend simple exercises or assisted. Many special educators have used Brain Gym® in special schools and with children of this typology getting great results.
It enhances, rather than replaces, existing programs and curricula. Initially, teachers guide the students through the movements and processes, supporting growing movement skills. The ultimate aim of the program is to encourage each student to notice when they might be “stuck” on a particular learning task and for the student to choose an appropriate activity. Such an empowering approach encourages each student to be self-responsible.
It can be integrated into classrooms around the world in a variety of ways:
As a result of using Brain Gym® movements regularly in the classroom, many teachers report significant improvements in the basic skills of reading, writing, spelling, and math as well as in areas such as concentration, attention, confidence, and creativity.
Individual results may vary. Doing the Brain Gym® activities every day reinforces positive movement and postural habits. Individuals are encouraged to notice senses, feelings, and thoughts to determine what may be beneficial at any particular moment. Both the balance process and the fun, easy, energizing movements can be especially helpful during times of stress.