Part 3: Creativity and Movement
By Dr. John E. Chapman III
Creativity comes in all different shapes and sizes. Since HGTV is my wife’s default TV channel, I can’t help sometimes but catch a glimpse of people making things I would have never dreamed possible as I surf toward the outdoor channel. On the other hand, give me a problem, and I will come up with a solution. I prefer to think my creativity comes in problem solving, rather than trending fabrics or color schemes. Thank goodness the world needs all types of creativity.
Being creative comes from thought processes that tend to go more deeply than everyday mundane thoughts. Imagine our world without Albert Einstein, Tim Berners-Lee, Karl Benz or even Delvigny. These people used their creativity and made something that today we often take for granted. (Thank Larry Page and Sergey Brin when you Google these names.)
With creativity comes judgment. If you use your creativity and make something, someone will judge it with their own perspective. That’s where marketing comes in really handy. Either you market your product well, or you don’t.
Which brings us to the current topic of marketing our creativity to “hook” students into the lesson so you have a chance to find their golden coin. To “Teach like a Pirate” puts teaching content into a whole other realm. Using kids’ imagination, taking them to places they’ve never been before and pushing them to reach far beyond their comfort zones just scratch the surface of marketing techniques used to sell learning and find each students’ creative spirit, or rather, their golden coin.
Extrinsic motivation is used by the teacher to hook students into learning. Most do better when they learn by doing, learn by making and even learn by moving. Once a student sees the value of learning the concept and the success in actually understanding it through the hook moments, intrinsic motivation is achieved. Most students want to succeed at what they try.
There is anatomical evidence that the brain works better with movement. A fun fact to note is that the cerebellum, the part of the brain associated with motor control, seated fist size under the occipital lobe, takes up about one-tenth of the brain by volume, BUT it contains NEARLY HALF of all of its neurons (ascd.org). Long story short, the cerebellum neuron circuits are “outbound” meaning that it influences the rest of the brain, and it has about 40 million nerve fibers. Another study was done by Peter Strick, Syracuse, NY, which documented another link. His staff has traced a pathway from the cerebellum back to parts of the brain involved in memory, attention, and spacial perception. Isn’t it most interesting that the part of the brain that processes movement is the same part of the brain that processes learning?
Bottom line—using all types of modalities will hook students. Once hooked, look for ways to keep them hooked.