Bodily kinesthetics is a learning style often referred to as “learning with the hands” or physical learning.
Basically, people with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence can learn more easily by doing, exploring, and discovering.
Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, one of the 9 types of learning styles that make up this theory, can often be seen in actors, craftspeople, athletes, inventors, dancers, and surgeons.
According to Carlton College, about 15% of the population is strongly aligned with a kinesthetic learning style.
You might be a kinesthetic learner if:
- You have good muscle memory.
- You do better academically with hands-on learning such as art, science, or shopping lessons.
- You often clap your hands or feet at a constant rate when you are focused.
- You are restless in non-interactive, conference-based environments.
- You are slower to grasp concepts explained audibly or visually.
- You are curious and like to explore your surroundings.
- You learn best by doing.
- You are good with the tools.
- You can conduct a detailed conversation while performing a physical task.
- You often hold your pen or pencil firmly and press hard when writing.
- You find it easier to listen and understand when there is an interaction.
- You find it easy to imitate the movements and gestures of others.
- You generally find it easy to learn new dance or aerobic steps.
Providing and retaining information is the key to success in today’s education system.
As a kinesthetic learner, however, some academic situations, such as lectures, are not ideal environments for students who learn kinesthetically best.
Study Tips focusing on kinesthetic learning can help. Here are some suggestions:
- Find the right place to study. Make one that fits your need for engagement or movement.
- To be active. Get moving, chew gum, or do whatever works for you.
- Take breaks. Don’t force yourself to sit for long periods of time.
- To take notes. To stay active and engaged, personalize them with colors, symbols or diagrams.
- Teach. Explaining the course material to a study group can keep you actively engaged with the material.
The theory of multiple intelligences states that each person has different intelligences and learns in different ways.
For example, some people learn well in environments based on mathematical logic while others learn well in reading and writing (environments based on linguistics).
The theory of multiple intelligences was developed by Howard Gardner of Harvard University and challenges the education system which assumes that everyone is able to learn in the same way and that universal tests are a valid assessment of the learning.
Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory states that everyone has some level of intelligence 9, but most people have a dominant intelligence that impacts how they learn and interact with others and their environment.
The 9 intelligences are:
- Bodily-kinesthetic: The ability to physically process (through hand and body movements) information.
- Verbal-linguistic: The ability to use language and words (sounds, meanings and rhythms) to understand and express complex concepts.
- Mathematics-logic: The ability to discern logical or numerical patterns, primarily through inductive reasoning.
- Musical: The ability to recognize and use rhythm, pitch, tone and timbre.
- Visual-spatial: The ability to understand space and to think in pictures and images, visualizing in a precise and abstract way.
- Intrapersonal: The ability to be self-aware and aware of your awareness, including feelings, values, beliefs, self-reflection, and thought processes.
- Interpersonal : The ability to work collaboratively in a group by sensing and responding appropriately to the motivations, moods and desires of others.
- Naturalist: The ability to recognize, categorize and appreciate plants, animals and other objects in the natural world as opposed to the man-made world.
- Existential: Has the sensitivity and the ability to focus on deep questions about humanity and human existence.
According to the theory of multiple intelligences, each person has different intelligences and learns in different ways.
Bodily kinesthetic learners are hands-on learners and more easily grasp information by doing, exploring, and discovering.
In learning and in life, it’s important to figure out what works best for you and use it to improve yourself.