Friday, May 11, 2007

Kids don't have to squirm to learn

In spring 2006, obesity researchers at the Mayo Clinic produced an innovative design for the classroom of the future: It has no chairs, uses "standing desks," and incorporates movement into every aspect of classroom activity. The assumption behind the design is that, due to ever-rising rates of obesity and ever-shrinking time for physical education in schools, students benefit -- both physically and academically -- from constant movement during the school day. Proponents of this idea suggest that kids need and want to move, that they can still learn while doing so, and some may even learn better this way.

An Edutopia Poll conducted by the George Lucas Foundation surveyed teachers regarding their opinion the role movement plays in learning asking:
Does physical activity improve student focus?
Yes- 89%
No - 2%
undecided 9%

To find out more on Edutopia Polls and additional Lucas Foundation resources check out
The Edutopia Electronic Newsletter . It contains hundreds of articles, expert interviews, research, and resources highlighting success stories in K-12 education. The George Lucas Foundation produces both electronic newsletters and a print magazine. Both are free to educators and you can sign up online.