Recent research has shown that movement allows students with attention disorders to focus better in a classroom setting. With many students being told to sit still with regularity, fidgeting is a defining feature in attention disorders. Attention disorders stem from the brain’s under-arousal, and movement works to increase an individuals alertness, allowing students that may otherwise not be able to focus to do so. Scientists believe that this boosts the nervous system in a similar manner to common drugs prescribed for such ailments, including Ritalin and Adderall.
What’s interesting is that for students without attention disorders, movement often had a deleterious effect on performance. This is likely because they overshot the ideal level of alertness, making movement simply a distraction.
What this research truly proves is that education cannot be made generic. Students with different necessities are enabled in different manners, and educators need to understand that, so instead of telling a child to sit still (which he will focus on doing instead of his studies), educators must work to help.
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