Learning with the Body LO23779

From: John Gunkler (jgunkler@sprintmail.com)
Date: 01/17/00

Replying to LO23768 --


I'm afraid you misunderstood what I meant by "learning with the body." It
must be my fault for how I described it.

I did not mean generalization. I literally meant learning from physical
movement of the body -- physically turning a physical cube (in my
example.) This was meant to be distinguished from other ways of learning,
such as mentally (in imagination) turning a (n imaginary) cube or formally
(through mathematical symbols) performing the "operation." These
different ways of learning are quite distinct, and children go through
phases where they can learn in certain of these ways but cannot (yet)
learn in others of these ways. This is the work of Jean Piaget that I

The unfortunate thing is that we get seduced by our own ability to learn
in more abstract and formal ways, and believe that such learning is
"better" ... so we neglect to learn in less abstract ways. What I
discovered, much to my surprise, is that even when the subject matter
seems formal and abstract, beginning the learning process with
concrete-operational learning (such as physical manipulation) can be very
helpful and make the later, more abstract learning more efficient.

Others, including Winfried Deijmann who often posts on this list and
Dennis Meadows, have been working on ways of teaching system dynamics
through "games" that involve physical movements -- like "walking around a
feedback loop."

John W. Gunkler


"John Gunkler" <jgunkler@sprintmail.com>

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