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Psy 370 - Brain Based Learning

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Brain Based Learning

PSY370: Learning & the Brain (BOJ1133A)

August 22,2011


Physical Education is very important part of a students learning curriculum in today's world. The reward is lifelong and contributes to vital parts of developing the mind as well as the body. I will outline some important factors in incorporating brain based learning into the Physical Education program.

Physical Education is beneficial to the overall health of the body and the mind. Exercise increases the blood flow to the brain, allowing for the delivery of blood and glucose, which triggers alertness and mental focus so that it is easier for a child to learn. Physical activity has also been linked to the growth of new brain cells. These brain cells are linked to having a better memory. Stress causes distress in the brain, but exercise is a stress reliever by placing the brain into homeostasis, which is similar to taking anti depressant medications. (

According to Brain Connection (, mental and physical exercise is a golden duo. Ballroom dancing was used as an example because of the concentrating and analyzing that the brain has to do in order to coordinate the moves, as well as the physical aspect of learning the dance. This is just one example of how physical activity and the brain can work together in order for the body to benefit. The complex dance moves requires the brain to use cognitive functionality in order to correctly learn the steps and stay on beat.

By incorporating brain based learning into Physical Education, the student is able to learn while promoting fitness and wellness. While most attribute Physical Education to solely exercising, studies have proven that it is far more than just that. The mental growth that the Physical Education program provides can lead to higher academics due to the increased flow of blood and glucose for a higher mental state. According to James Pollatschek and Frank Hagen, children that participate in physical activity at school develop superior motor school, academic performance as well as a better attitude toward school in comparison with children who do not participate in any physical activity.

Another part of building a healthy mind is dealing with stress. Stress is "what occurs in your body as a result of your perceptions (Jenson, 2008, p. 43)." Good stress occurs in short bursts; these are things we believe we can overcome. They help motivate us, heighten our perception on things, and even strengthen our bodies. This eustress, good stress, occurs when we want to solve a problem, we have the ability to do so, we have some sense of control over the circumstances, and we have sufficient rest between challenges. Distress is the opposite of this. It occurs when we are confront with an issue we don't want to solve, can't think of a solution, lack the resources to solve it, feel it's risk levels are unacceptable, have little or no control over the situation



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