Monday, February 21, 2011

Beat Competence: A Natural Ability or a Learned Skill? (post No.3)

If one of your students or your own child can not keep a beat, what do you do? 

I love learning strategies that support learners and one of the ways I support children to become more "beat competent" is with "floor work" or "tummy time".  I also do some other things...but I'll talk about those in another post. 

If this is of interest to you, I recommend reading some science-based research.

Science Supports This
Dr. Carla Hannaford, neurophysiologist and educator, has written a wonderful book called, "Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head".  I have this book listed here, on Susan's Bookshelf.  I highly recommend reading this, if you haven't already.  

I have several copies.  One for me and extras in my studio for the parents and any teaching colleagues to borrow.  It is packed with information about the emotional, physical, developmental underpinnings of learning.

Carla Hannaford suffered from a form of dyslexia growing up.  She attributed her disability to having missed certain developmental stages.  When her own daughter was going through the developmental stage of crawling, Carla describes how she was so concerned her daughter would miss the crawling stage (and suffer learning consequences) that she made her daughter crawl around while Carla crawled over-top the daughter to be sure enough time was spent actually crawling.

Ms. Hannaford knew her science/research and she was making sure her own child would go through the "readiness" developmental stages.   

Now, I haven't met her daughter so I have no idea if she was beat competent but what I love about that story is the mother's awareness that she could make a difference in her daughter's development and she took action to do this.

Obviously, I'm someone who believes learning to keep a beat is possible even if it appears that keeping a beat is impossible.  
I believe this because of the research I have read.  
I believe this because I have used physical "recovery" methods to nurture growth in this area.

I just love not giving up on a child!

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