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Does BrainGym really work?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by simon43, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. simon43

    simon43 New commenter

    Forgive me if this is a 'sensitive' topic.

    Teaching in the back of beyond in south-east Asia, I just found about about BrainGym whilst studying a CPD course from The British Council on Teaching young students with SEN.

    The idea that hand-to-eye co-ordination can be improved by doing these types of exercises is interesting to me, but I became suspicious of the concept when faced with the commercial side of BrainGym's website, (paying them fees to become a licenced BrainGym trainer etc).

    Putting all that aside, do you think that these types of exercises could benefit young students who have some difficulties in class with their hand-to-eye co-ordination, or other physical issues?

    In another post in the P.E. forum, I asked for suggestions about teaching primary P.E. I would welcome suggestions and links to resources about physical or mental exercises that can help all my young students to improve their learning and co-ordination). Thanks.
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    No, but it is a nice activity to break up double maths last thing on a Friday afternoon.
    5 mins here and there does no harm, but I'd not say it has much benefit either.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  3. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I'd say the same as caterpillartobutterfly that the idea of a little freshener to wake up between lessons isn't a bad idea but you'd be better off taking them into the playground for five minutes running around.

    The main point is that the whole 'Brain Gym' thing is entirely based on very bad pseudo-science. There is simply no evidence that any of it works. The people behind it are essentially frauds. They've simply made the whole thing up and tried to pass it off as real science. On that basis, I wouldn't give it any credit at all.
    snowyhead likes this.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I agree with all colleagues have said. Useful on occasion and can't do harm, but to take it to the full extent it was a few years back, possibly no.

    I would just like to add that for some children, dyslexics, dyspraxic, children with physical/ mobility problems or even sometimes Autistic children, anything which helps 'keep the brain communicating one side with the other' can only be helpful.
  5. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    nick909 likes this.
  6. simon43

    simon43 New commenter

    Thanks for all your replies. The answers support my own suspicions about BrainGym.

    (BTW, my apologies for appearing ignorant about this topic - I teach in a remote, overseas location and it can be hand to get up-to-date news, (but I'll make sure to watch the Xmas speech by King George in a few days from now). ;)

    Joking aside, are there any physical exercises than can actually benefit hand-to-eye co-ordination? I'm thinking of the 'close-your-eyes-and-touch-your-nose' type of exercise. Is there any research or studies that demonstrate an improvement in co-ordination from specific physical exercises?
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  8. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    ROSIEGIRL likes this.
  9. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    Those links are interesting.

    I often nag teachers to do more coordination skills with their pupils - particularly in special schools.

    They sometimes mention Brain Gym to me. Now I am forewarned and ready to reply!

  10. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    I have mentioned diabolo on your thread in the PE section.

    Kids love to learn skills they can show off with. Toothbrush twirling is one I have mentioned on this forum before.

    Peacock feather balancing on your hand, finger, nose is great too.

    Plate spinning of course.

    Teachers can be a little reluctant to spend their own money on equipment. If you spend it on the right stuff it is well worth it in the long term.

  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Ive never found teachers reluctant to spend their own money but equipping a class with diabolos ....
  12. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    Does BrainGym really work?

    If you get a perentage of the profits ? Yes.
    Jeremyinspain, Lara mfl 05 and rouxx like this.
  13. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    You would only do this if you were a keen diabolist yourself. Diabolos are hard wearing and long lasting.

    Some years ago I was working for the day at a primary school. At break time lots of the kids were playing with diabolos outside. All ages with all sorts of tricks on show. Apparently this was a pupil inspired craze. None of the teachers could do the diabolo. i've never seen this at any other school.

    Why not a teacher inspired craze?


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