A friend recently forwarded me the following New York Times article titled ‘ Abstract Thoughts? The Body Takes Them Literally.’ The article discusses embodied cognition which is the thought that the form of the body is connected to the mind. Recent studies are backing up the notion that to we can literally learn with our hands.
As a kid, I used to day dream about all sorts of stuff and sometimes I’d find myself even gesturing with my hands and arms. I had extremely vivid landscapes, characters, and synopses that ranged in topical areas from anime influenced sci-fi to a mythical synth pop band all inhabiting my noggin. What’s still fascinating to me to this day is is that some of those early passions eventually evolved into adult pursuits which include but is not limited to space and music.
It looks though that to really crystallize a concept, using your hands (even if it seems ridiculous) might reinforce the learning process. We have hands so might as well use them.
I went to school with an accomplished musician (piano) named Donald Vega who faced significant challenges (poverty,health challenges) that he overcame. How it relates to learning is that I heard Donald at one point didn’t have a piano to practice his craft on so he drew out the keyboard on cardboard which became a surrogate.
- For more on Donald Vega go to the following URL and download Issue 30 of the Inspiration Journal (pg. 14 ).
- Donald Vega’s website