Teachers and students in Maine are finding that encouraging movement improves learning.

Encouraging Movement Improves LearningResearchers are finding that the traditional assumption that students need to sit still to learn may actually be harmful. So some teachers are finding a new way to help their students learn.

At Piscataquis Community Secondary School in Guilford, Maine, Sue Chase’s special education classroom features large LED lanterns hanging from the ceiling, instead of harsh, flickering fluorescent lights.  “Because those bother some of my students,” she says. “The noise and the flickering.”

She has also replaced traditional classroom seating.  Some seats are made of bouncy material.  Others have pillows and cushions.  “These stools, I purchased this year,” Chase said. “And those other chairs, the comfy chairs, I purchase a few every year.”

A “wobble stool” is in the middle of the room. It allows a student to shift up and down and side to side as they work.

Chase has intentionally paid attention to design, so that her kids can move and stay on task.

“And I see a big difference with them,” she says. “They’re less fidgety. Or they can fidget, but it’s not as distracting to them and to other people.”

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