Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Multi-Sensory Training in the Traditional Classroom?"

Many schools today are embracing change to help learner's perform easier and at a faster rate. There are multitudes of commercial programs, yet few have in-depth scientific documentation. This is because it takes years and years of experimentation to obtain it.

Multi-sensory education has been around for many years, even before I applied it in 1980, nearly thirty years ago, having learned from the experts and textbooks of that time.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was a push for sensory integration through auditory-visual-motoric-kinesthetic applications, led by Jean Ayres, Chalfant and Scheffelin, and others. (in Lerner, J. W. 1976, 1971; Children with Learning Disabilities, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston p. 180). Inter-sensory exercises were emphasized during the 1970s, then they were abandoned. Other, often lesser effective, methods replaced them.

The missing link was the creative inter-sensory Accelerated Learning applications that could be applied to these theories. In 1980, I applied them with The Bridge To Achievement program, and it has taken me nearly thirty years to show documentation that they work. Traditionalists were skeptical and children , especially those with learning difficulties, often floundered, as they stayed within a narrow educational mindset.

Now, brain science is verifying the early works of the eminent professors and the practitioners, like myself. The last several issues of Brain in the News by the Dana Foundation, Washington DC, tout how Neuroaesthetics and Neuroeducation are moving forward together. They state that the elements of the theater through simultaneous use of several sensory inputs, work for activating the brain for learning (July 2009, p. 3).

The multitudes of published learning applications may very well move in this direction, because they do create the academic achievement change that is now not only necessary, but mandatory.

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