Kinesthetic learning is a type of learning that is often associated with doing things and learning through movement. The basic premise is that some people are kinetic learners, which means they learn best when learning about things that involve physical motion or body movements. These individuals are frequently drawn to sports and other athletic pursuits, as well as other fields of study that require physical activity and movement. Kinesthetic learning is one of several types of learning that can be aided in the classroom using physical objects or movement, even small movements like foot tapping, while learning.
There are several different learning styles, with different educational philosophies and pedagogies recognizing and emphasizing different styles to varying degrees. However, the basic premise behind such learning styles is that different people learn in different ways, and the ways in which one person learns best may differ significantly from the ways in which another learns best. Audio learning, visual learning, and kinesthetic learning are all common learning styles. Audio learning is typically accomplished through hearing information, while visual learning is accomplished through reading and seeing information, and kinesthetic learning is accomplished through physical motion and something that can be touched.
This means that physical movements often enhance kinesthetic learning, which is why many kinesthetic learners excel as athletes. Muscle memory and control associated with athletic activities such as throwing, catching, running, tackling, and striking a ball with an object are frequently learned through kinesthetic learning processes. However, when required to sit still and remain silent in a classroom, this can make it difficult to learn other types of information. In order for these students to learn other subjects, kinesthetic learning should be implemented in the classroom.
An instructor can often facilitate kinesthetic learning in the classroom using physical objects that students can touch and interact with. A scale model of a human heart, brain, or skeleton, for example, will often be far more meaningful for a kinesthetic learner than a diagram in a book or a verbal explanation in a science classroom. This is why a teacher should attempt to address multiple forms of learning in order to help students learn the material more easily.
While learning, a kinesthetic learner may fidget slightly or tap his or her toes or fingers. As long as this behavior does not disrupt other students, it should be permitted, as it may actually assist the student in better learning new information. The association of physical movements with new information can assist a kinesthetic learner in properly storing and recalling the information.