Thursday, 2 July 2015

Moving, Thinking and Learning

Rodin's thinker sits with his head bowed, forehead resting on his clenched fist. This is the classic static thinking pose. But other poses are also available: for example, lying on the grass and looking up at the sky can work quite well. So can going out for a walk – alone or with someone to help you think things through. Some famous thinkers (Charles Darwin and Charles Dickens, for example) have done their best thinking while walking. Other people find it easier to think if they have something in their hands – pen and paper for writing or sketching, or play objects, or models. Some people find that performing an activity needing little mental effort somehow enhances their conscious thinking: Sherlock Holmes famously played his violin to help him solve crimes. In Minority Report or Silent Witness you see investigators moving objects around on a screen: by physically rearranging the data they discover new patterns and possibilities that can create breakthroughs in thinking. Perhaps real world example are more convincing? Such as Google's playrooms that encourage movement and playing with objects in order help employees find the next breakthrough. And the same is true for young children the world over: our most rapid period of learning involves exploratory movement and manipulation of objects. Movement and thinking are great playmates at all ages.

So when you want people to think deeply about past, present or future, consider using physical movement and physical objects to help them think more deeply or creatively.

You will find more on this subject in How movement can help thinking and learning in the Guide to Active Reviewing


  1. Hi! "Rodin's thinker sits with his head bowed, forehead resting on his clenched fist." that line doesn`t quite match to the picture. :)

  2. As far as I know the mechanism of memory interacts well with the performance of monotonous work, let's say this is cooking food or you repair the bike. So Sherlock is undoubtedly right. On the features of temporary and long-term memory, I wrote a thesis and here I ordered some teaching aids of calculation. In the percentage relationship, the efficiency of memorization in the case of a workflow according to my calculations is increased by 37%. In fact, it just figures, but in practice, this also works.