Brain Gym® supports Growth Mindset
My understanding of Growth Mindset is that it is based on neuroplasticity, on fostering the idea that our personalities and abilities can change through learning and practice, and that this mindset motivates students to learn and change.
Brain Gym is also based on neuroplasticity – in fact, Dr. Dennison worked from this premise before the concept was accepted by the scientific community at large.
The Brain Gym Five Steps for Easy Learning is a structure creating new neural pathways in the brain, for changing behaviour, for embodying learning and for relieving stress. Brain Gym activities can be seen as tools and resources for the learning process.
Brain Gym extends the scope of Growth Mindset
In addition to supporting the “incremental entity” concept of Growth Mindset, Brain Gym uses the concept of integrated, whole brain learning, where a calm brainstem and balanced emotions support the activity of the cerebral cortex, and both hemispheres work together for analysis and synthesis, sensory input and expressive output, etc. Some examples of the the purpose of various Brain Gym activities are to help take us out of ‘fight/flight’ mode and calm a stimulated sympathetic nervous system, to diffuse a flooded emotional state, to activate both brain hemispheres or co-ordinate our eye movements.
Brain Gym complements Growth Mindset
Furthermore, Brain Gym and Movement Exploration addresses the physical skills of learning, skills which are often not taught or addressed. (Movement Exploration is form of Educational Kinesiology that focuses on the fundamental developmental movement patterns and integration of primary reflexes.) Movement is a primary creator of neural pathways. Retained or unintegrated reflexes, often the result of inadequate movement experience, exploration and practice, use up energy and interfere with the co-ordination needed for academic skills such as reading and writing. In this regard, practicing Brain Gym movements and/or developmental movement patterns complements Growth Mindset tools.