Physically Active Learning Strategy Helps Students In Canada And Hong Kong Stay Focused

By Jackie Pasaol, Parent Herald March 29, 06:00 pm

Schools across Canada have installed stationary bicycles within the classrooms to help the active children burn off their excess energy. Apparently, the physically active approach works very well with the students.

Talking about the effects of the physically active approach, Nicole Mount, a grade 2-3 teacher said to Tree Hugger, since using the equipment, she said she noticed students became sharper, more attentive and became less fidgety as well. Moreover, the kids became more focused to the lessons.

While the physically active learning strategy works wonders in Canadian schools, Hong Kong, on the other hand, has been using standing desks and movement breaks to burn off the students' emotional energy. Just like the students at The Harbour School in Ap Lei Chau.

Principal Christine Greenberg said the school designed a learning space, where students can practice quick movement breaks such as moving tables or chairs around, brainstorming and exchange of ideas. She said the physically active learning works well with the students, especially with the kids with learning difficulties.

As for Melissa Shadforth, mother-of-three children said gently moving while having a class seems to work for her girls too, who were diagnosed with dyslexia. "Perhaps it allows the energy to flow more freely through the body and send messages more efficiently within the nervous system," she concluded to SCMP.

While others think that allowing students to engage in physically active learning can only cause a distraction to their fellow students, Maly Peny, communications manager at IMS, said young kids have a wider understanding. Hence, no need to worry if the educators involve kids in physically active learning.

Peny said young children understand that they are all part of a group. Moreover, young kids understand that they need to respect the time and space of their classmates and educators.

"Physical learning is an intrinsic part of the Montessori pedagogy," Penny added. "As Benjamin Franklin put it: "Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn."

It is good to know that educators are engaging kids to physically active learning. Especially, that there has been a widespread concern about the recent report of Coconut Hong Kong, in which it revealed that prisoners in Hong Kong are spending more time exercising in outdoors than the students -- suggesting that students are more focusing on seated studying than physically active learning.

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