KINESTHETIC (somatic/physical actions) Learning
About 35% of children & 5 – 15% of Adults learn most easily while moving (kinesthetic) or handling (tactile) things, which helps them understand the world around them.
Physical movement: The Cerebellum & motor cortex, at the back of the frontal lobe, are mainly in charge of much of the body’s activity
Kinesthetic thought: lets us experience bodily sensations, feelings & emotions, which come from immediate experience, memories or imagined situations
“Children enter kindergarten as kinesthetic/ tactile learners, moving & touching everything as they go. By 2nd or 3rd grade, some have become visual learners. During the late elementary years, others – mainly girls – become auditory learners, while many males keep their kinesthetic/ tactile strengths throughout their lives.” Rita Stafford and Kenneth J. Dunn; Allyn and Bacon, 1993)
When young, these learners are life’s little wiggle worms, often mis-diagnosed with ADD or ADHD.
They’re smart & eager to learn, but first need their attention captured. Then their energy can be directed by drawing on their natural curiosity & offered hand-on activities.
They do best when they have something in front of them they can physically touch, and even better if they made it themselves.
They come to understand how to use their bodies & how to communicate with others by touch, most of which comes through feet & hands. So activities that focus on those body parts help them learn how to write, share their toys, button shirts, tie shoes, hold a fork…
Kinesthetic learners express themselves through movement, with the distinct ability to control the body’s actions & handle objects skillfully. Through interacting with the space around them, they are able to remember and process information, which allows for a good sense of balance & eye-hand co-ordination.
They need external stimulation, otherwise they may lose interest, preferring to think broadly before going in-depth. It doesn’t mean they act before thinking or are reckless, but that they understand things better by getting immersed in a situation or lesson, in order to evaluate facts for themselves.
Learning a physical skill by first visualizing the activity (dance, a sport, driving…. ) is known to be very successful.
EXP: Focus on the sensations you would expect for each activity or experience. So, for a tack (turn) on a sailboat, feel the pressure against your hand as you turn the rudder & the tension lessening on the ropes. Feel the wind change to the other side, feel the thud as the sail swaps with the wind, feel the boat speed up as you start the new leg….
Phrases used by Kinesthetics :
” I can’t get a grip on this // Stay in touch // That doesn’t sit right with me // I have a good feeling about this // My gut is telling me // I get your drift….”
Re. INTUITION (Clear sensing)
This is actually getting vibes in the body such as Tingles, goosebumps, electricity, lump in throat, tickle in ear….
Gut Instinct (Clear knowing)
Harder to describe – more of a crystal clear ‘I just know!”, like a ring or ping, but coming from the belly rather than the mind. Not so thick or dense as many deliberate thoughts.
NOTE: All experiences of physical, sexual, verbal & emotional abuse are stored in the body (muscles, organs, energy centers….), and need to be released in movement, taking & crying.
Such history can be from childhood battering &/or incest, domestic abuse, war-time trauma, severe physical-illness-treatments or accidents…..
The physical expression of stored pain (getting it out) is necessary for all learning types, but especially for Kinesthetics – using experiential modalities, such as
Core Energetics, Psychodrama, Trauma release exercises……
ASLO: Some books & LINKS to many therapies
General KINESTHETIC Characteristics
Remember, you’re not going to identify with every characteristic. which will depend on other factors, such as mixing in other learning styles, education & basic personality.