Brain gym is a set of movement activities said to help children learn faster and easier. It claims to help children perform better at sports, increase ability to focus and organize, overcome learning challenges and reach new levels of excellence. It also claims that it is a better alternative to medication in helping with hyperactivity, learning disabilities and even Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
First created in the 1970’s, by 1987 is was being taught in the schools of 80 different countries. It still remains popular amoung educators today because it appears to be based on neuroscience, but it isn’t. In fact it is referred to as Educational Kinesiology and it’s bogus ideas were specifically marketed to schools and clueless educators. To date there is no scientific support that the physical activities associated with it have any learning benefit. While being around for over 30 years without any sound scientific evidence for its claims it has perpetuated common educational practises. It was first debunked in the 1990’s by leading researchers such as Novella (1996), Bruer (2004) and Hyatt (2007).
I recently gave a workshop where I commented on these facts and I was attacked by a couple of the workshop participants, with the excuse that if teachers use it, it must be sound. Decades of proven scientific research has proven it is not, yet it still persists in today’s education paradigm. Parents, teachers and fitness instructors before you spend hundreds of dollars on the training do the research. This program is damaging, dangerous and misleading. If children and families who need help are using it then they are not getting the help they need.