Friday, October 10, 2008

Brain Research & The Arts

"An art class may become an academic oasis, a magnificent blessing for students with language-based learning difficulties. Art teachers in elementary and secondary schools keep reminding me that a sizable number of kids who thrive and distinguish themselves at an easel or with a lump of clay live with humbling delays in reading, spelling, or mathematics. Art sometimes is the sole way a student feels effective. Other fine motor redeeming opportunitites include fixing cars, building bookshelves, and cooking. If you know a child with significant academic woes, investigate possible fine motor opportunities for the restoration of self-esteem. If you are the parent of the teacher of a struggling student, seek whatever opportunities you can to exploit a fine motor pathway that seems to work and heap plenty of praise on the resulting efforts. Fine motor pride can keep your child going."

"Art teachers, music teachers, and coaches are among the most perceptive observers of neurodevelopmental function in any school setting. They are in a position to understand a kid's motor output as it connects to other brain functions."

Select quotes from: A Mind at a Time by Mel Levine

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