What is the Educational Kinesiology Foundation/Brain Gym® International and what is its mission?
The Educational Kinesiology Foundation, doing business as Brain Gym International, is a California, USA 501(c)3 non-profit public benefit corporation which owns the registered trademark BRAIN GYM. Most widely known as Brain Gym® International, our organization is committed to the principle that movement is the door to optimal living and learning. The Edu-K curriculum of over 500 hours reflects this value.
We support self-awareness and the ease of living and learning through safe, simple, and effective movement.
We utilize the Brain Gym® educational model to:
- Promote play and the joy of learning
- Draw out and honor innate intelligence
- Build awareness regarding the value of movement in daily life
- Emphasize the ability to notice and respond to movement-based needs
- Encourage self-responsibility
- Leave each participant appreciated and valued
- Empower the individual to better take charge of his own learning
- Encourage creativity and self expression
- inspire an appreciation for music, physical education and the fine arts
What is Educational Kinesiology (Edu-K)?
The word education comes from the latin root “educere” which means “to draw out” while the word kinesiology means “movement”. Therefore, Edu-K is the study of drawing out innate intelligence through natural movement experiences.
The Educational Kinesiology Foundation is a California, USA 501(c)3 non-profit public benefit corporation which owns the registered trademark BRAIN GYM. More widely known as Brain Gym® International, our organization is committed to the principle that movement is the door to optimal living and learning. The Edu-K curriculum of over 500 hours reflects this value.
How do I learn more about the 26 Brain Gym® movements?
The most common way to experience the Brain Gym activities is to attend the introductory 24 hour course, Brain Gym® 101. This course addresses the physical skills associated with learning and achievement. Participants experience a five step learning process called a balance and the twenty-six Brain Gym® movements, which are divided into four categories: Midline Movements, Energy Exercises, Deepening Attitudes and Lengthening Activities.
What is the philosophy?
The work is based upon empirical experience rather than neurological research. Influences include child development and movement experts, innovative educators, specialists in developmental vision, and chiropractic movement educators.
Edu-K’s philosophy encourages self-responsibility and self-assessment. Participants are invited to explore and discover their own learning processes. To meet this objective, the courses and individual sessions are built around activities that encourage experience, initiative and evaluation. This is the heuristic model of education, the “drawing out” model of learning.
The philosophy is further based on the knowledge that humans learn through movement. As founder Paul Dennison says, “Movement is the door to learning.” Throughout life, stress can affect the capacity to move and inhibit the ability to comprehend, organize, and communicate. At certain times, people may notice that thinking, feeling, or sensing may influence performance. In Edu-K, we observe and address movement patterns with the intention of restoring the skills associated with successful achievement.
The Edu-K Foundation has an ongoing commitment to evaluate, assess, and develop its practices and principles. We emphasize the use of a wide variety of “noticing” tools that teach self-responsibility through self-observation of physical, emotional, and intellectual systems.
What evidence is there to support the Work?
Our primary evidence comes from the countless anecdotal stories reported to us since 1986. A few examples are showcased on our testimonials page. Additionally, we have Brain Gym® studies available in these three sources:
- A Chronology of Annotated Research Study Summaries in the Field of Educational Kinesiology.
- The Brain Gym® Global Observer, generally published three times yearly, offers in-depth articles as well as reports of an anecdotal, statistical, or theoretical nature, written by instructors about their use of the Brain Gym® program in diverse settings.
- The Research Packet offers more extensive versions of the studies in the Research Chronology.
Visit our Brain Gym® Studies page for more information.
Who can benefit from the Brain Gym® work?
This simple, yet powerful, program is used by people of all ages and abilities for a variety of reasons.
It is probably best known for its effectiveness in school classrooms, the arena for which it was first developed. Additionally, people with special needs and learning challenges benefit from Edu-K and the Brain Gym® program by using modifications of some of the movements and activities. The Edu-K Foundation makes no medical claims nor diagnoses.
However, the Brain Gym® work is not limited to the educational field and special needs. It is also being used successfully by corporations, athletics, health professions, families, and individuals.
The Educational Kinesiology Foundation encourages people to use, play with, and explore information learned. However, only licensed instructor/consultants can teach, advertise, or collect fees for the Brain Gym® program.
How is Edu-K and the Brain Gym® program used in the classroom?
It enhances, rather than replaces, existing programs and curricula. Initially, teachers guide the students through the movements and processes, supporting growing movement skills. The ultimate aim of the program is to encourage each student to notice when they might be “stuck” on a particular learning task and for the student to choose an appropriate activity. Such an empowering approach encourages each student to be self-responsible.
It can be integrated into classrooms around the world in a variety of ways:
- The movements can be done as a whole group activity.
- A skilled teacher may identify and work with individual students.
- Students learn to notice when they could benefit from the various movements and initiate the use of them independently.
As a result of using Brain Gym® movements regularly in the classroom, many teachers report significant improvements in the basic skills of reading, writing, spelling, and math as well as in areas such as concentration, attention, confidence, and creativity.
How long do the effects last?
Individual results may vary. Doing the Brain Gym® activities every day reinforces positive movement and postural habits. Individuals are encouraged to notice senses, feelings, and thoughts to determine what may be beneficial at any particular moment. Both the balance process and the fun, easy, energizing movements can be especially helpful during times of stress.
How do I Get Started?
Edu-K and the Brain Gym® program can be experienced with licensed Brain Gym® Instructors/Consultants through private sessions, courses, and presentations. Books are also available.
Private sessions typically last 1 -2 hours and allow a client to focus on a specific goal. In a private session, Brain Gym® activities may be experienced as well as the more advanced work, as is appropriate. You can search for an instructor via last name, country, state, or willingness to travel.
Courses and presentations are offered by licensed Brain Gym® Instructors/Consultants around the world. You can search for courses using any combination of the following: course level, course number, instructor last name, country, state/province, and date.
Are courses available online?
The Edu-K program and Brain Gym courses are experiential by nature, which creates several challenges for the development of online courses. However, the Foundation understands the importance of alternative course formats in our technological world and is exploring ways to implement such concepts.