Research has shown that physical activity is a necessary component in a child's development. In fact, physical activity is a young child's preferred mode of learning (Pica, 2004). Children best understand concepts when they are physically experienced. For example, children need to get high and low, small and large, wide and narrow shapes to truly understand these quantitative concepts. They need to act out simple computation problems, such as demonstrating the nursery rhyme Three Little Monkeys to discover three minus one equals two, to comprehend subtraction. Children have to take on the straight and curving lines of the letters of the alphabet to fully grasp the way in which the letters should be printed (Pica, 2004).
Scientists label this kind of hands-on learning implicit, like learning to ride a bike. At the opposite end of the spectrum is explicit learning, like being told the capital of Peru. If one hadn't ridden a bike in five years, would he or she still be able to do it? And if one hadn't heard the capital of Peru for five years, would he or she still remember what it was? Extrinsic learning may be quicker than learning through exploration and discovery, but the latter has greater meaning for children and stays with them longer. There are plenty... [continues]
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