Specific Diagnostic Studies did a study to find the learning style of students. They found that the typical student is 29% visual, 34% auditory, and 37% haptic (moving, touching, doing). Yet most classrooms use primarily visual and auditory teaching techniques. They ignore a full third of the learning opportunities.
In order to have their brains work in the optimum state, students need to be physically involved in the learning process. This means that children need to [gasp] get out of their seats. They need to move.
I have observed that school teachers feel like they're doing a good job when they successfully keep all the children in their seats and quiet. So when do they get to experience a 100% learning experience? Not very often.
In my experience, learning is not always neat and orderly. Children can be unpredictable, energetic, and loud. I don't see that as a problem, but an opportunity. Children should be moving and actively involved. If the child is having a hard time sitting through a lesson, it's because he is not engaged. The lesson is not serving his learning style. He is not a bad student, but it is a bad learning environment for him. He needs to move.
I once had a Type-A teacher tell me that he can't teach unless he first has control of the classroom. He said, “They will never hear the lesson unless they are quiet and still.” Really? Personally, I can't tell if a child is even listening to me unless he is actively involved in the learning process. That means moving and talking.
Additionally, the way the teachers get the students to behave includes threats, punishments, and rewards. At best, these tactics make good order-takers. At worst, this environment is an emotionally toxic place and the students learn to abhor being there. Both of these situations make it difficult to learn.
We must provide learning situations that involve the whole student. Where they can move and explore. Yes, it can – and should – happen. I have been there. It is an incredible and wonderful experience.