Kinesthetic classroom is a classroom equipped with kinesthetic desks and other kinesthetic learning tools, and posters which explain the basic principles of brain compatible teaching and learning process.
Learning takes place behind kinesthetic desks which enable quiet and undisruptive movement during school lessons. Students rotate in accordance with known schedule. Teachers agree among themselves who will carry out which lesson in kinesthetic classroom at a given time.
Some schools decide for a different approach. Instead of setting up one kinesthetic classroom with student rotating they install a few kinesthetic desks into a regular classroom to enable individual students to move while in class.
In addition to improving the learning process this approach can also be used for managing unruly behaviour, because students get the chance to move. Children with ADD can be very disruptive in class because they have trouble staying still for the entire lesson.
Sitting in class has been the predominant teaching model in schools. For decades the education and scientific community believed that thinking and moving belong to completely different areas. But research shows that physical activity has a positive effect on cognitive performance. Movement directly improves cognitive performance and brain health in children. There is a strong connection between movement and learning – if children want to learn, they need to move.
Children with ADHD are fidgety and can’t resist the urge to move. Hyperactivity, distractedness and impulsivity are a normal part of their school day. Their restlessness make them disruptive if they have to sit behind conventional school desks.
Excessive sitting causes illnesses and orthopedic problems, and hinders children’s learning ability. Students who are using kinesthetic desks burn up 15–25% more calories during every school day compared to students who are sitting behind regular desks. When standing, body tissues are unable to adapt to static position and do not damage child’s physiology as sitting does. Reducing sitting time literally reduces cellular aging, meaning that children will live longer and healthier lives. Many research also show that standing helps to prevent type 2 diabetes and lowers cholesterol levels. Kinesthetic desks are also proven to be an effective additional weapon when combating childhood obesity.
Scientific data confirms that it is reasonable to introduce kinesthetic desks in a school setting since it could reduce musculoskeletal problems, burn off excess energy and improve students’ behaviour and their academic achievements. Kinesthetic desks can be readily and quickly implemented with limited classroom and school management adjustments. Kinesthetic desks are also more accessible solution for a lower income backgrounds, ethnic groups with limited access to health education programme, and more expensive dedicated measures.