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Thursday, June 23 • 15:00 - 16:00
CON08.12b - Does Walking Have a Role in Education

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The interconnection between walking, teaching, learning, and innovation has had a long though scattered history. Lectures and discussions at a variety of Ancient Greek schools – including Aristotle’s Lyceum and Epicurus’ Garden – took place while walking. In the centuries that followed, numerous artists, scientists and philosophers anecdotally noted the cognitive benefits that come from walking. For example, Friedrich Nietzsche remarked that “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking” (Nietzsche, 1998); and Henry David Thoreau said that “the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow” (Thoreau, 1906). Recently, companies such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook have found that walking meetings can help spark innovative ideas. For the most part, these walking trends have not caught on within education. Learning is most often conceived as something that happens while sitting at a desk, be it in the classroom, library or at home.


Recent scientific research calls into question the largely sedentary approach to teaching and learning. Some of this research comes from innovations in electroencephalogram (EEG) technology, which enables brain activity to be measured while individuals are in motion. This research suggests that walking can improve both critical and creative thinking – not only over the long-term but immediately (Labonté-LeMoyne, 2015; Oppezzo & Schwartz, 2014; Schaefer et al, 2010). This has potentially important implications for teaching and learning.


Participants of this research session will become informed of this recent research on the benefits of walking for cognitive function. They will also explore how these findings can be implemented within a higher education environment.

Presenters
avatar for James Southworth

James Southworth

Writing Consultant, Wilfrid Laurier University
James Southworth is a Writing Consultant at Wilfrid Laurier University. He completed his PhD in philosophy at the University of Western Ontario in 2014 with an expertise in moral psychology and ethics.


Thursday June 23, 2016 15:00 - 16:00
UCC 146

Attendees (19)




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