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© The Author(s) 2014. When language is processed, brain activity occurs not only in the classic ‘language areas’ such as Broca’s area, but also in areas which control movement. Our systems of understanding, including higher level cognition, are rooted in bodily awareness which needs to be developed as a precursor to intellectual reasoning. Cognition is embodied, and this concept may offer a radical new way of improving school education by improving children’s systems of physical understanding. A new classroom physical intervention, called Move4words, based on embodied cognition, was developed for pupils aged 7–13 years and trialled with 348 typical pupils in 10 mainstream UK schools. Three pilot controlled trials showed significant improvements in academic performance, particularly for struggling pupils performing in the lowest 20 percent. Effect sizes were large for the lowest achievers: Hedges’ g = 0.86 for national examinations at age 11 (KS2 SATs) and g = 1.24 for progress through National Curriculum Levels in reading, writing and maths. Performance gains were maintained for at least 1 year after the end of the intervention.

Original publication

DOI

10.1177/1365480214562125

Type

Journal article

Journal

Improving Schools

Publication Date

01/01/2015

Volume

18

Pages

83 - 100