Imagination, physical energy, and the need for self-expression are childhood qualities recognized by parents. Indeed they cannot fail to be, recognized and active as they are in a child’s life. Unfortunately, these three qualities which children have been using from birth onward to learn are not given their value as natural endowments that can be applied to formal education. When valued as such, these forces might intelligently be used to increase a child’s perceptive abilities and self-confidence, two things essential to learning.
These qualities combine in dynamic play, a term devised by the author to describe an approach to learning. Through physical participation, children deal with concepts, ideas, and emotions while they reach out to touch a vast world of people, animals, nature, and activities. The chapters provide for improvisations in music, visual art, drama and stories in addition to topics related to the changing seasons, sports, school subjects, travel, games, and many other elements of the natural and man-made world. Research about the correlation of movement to brain activity is included to support the thesis that creative movement is an effective adjunct to learning.
Therapists, counselors, and preschool and elementary teachers will find this easily adaptable material valuable in fostering perception, insight, and cognitive understanding in children.
“Dancers and footballers have to move to think. They think by moving. And so do children. In this much needed antidote to sedimentary education, Judith Peck guides us skillfully through the research behind this claim, and the many benefits which movement bestows on children’s intellectual as well as physical development. So teachers, get moving!”
-Guy Claxton, author of Intelligence in the Flesh
“Dynamic Play and Creative Movement is timely, enlivening, and creative. It will show teachers, parents, school administrators, school boards, and those who teach teachers how a classroom can come alive –even as deeper learning becomes accessible. This is indeed exciting.”
-Beate Becker, MA, MS, BC-DMT, PA, CMA, SEP, LMHC
“I believe this book to be on the leading edge of a growing field—of dance or movement therapy—which can serve important needs for postsecondary faculty teaching education and special education courses. Elementary school teachers, social workers, paraprofessionals, clinicians, and special education teachers looking to add these action-oriented concepts and methods into their curricula and classrooms would benefit, as well as parents hoping to stimulate maximum brain development in their children.”
-Mary C. Starke, professor of Clinical Psychology, Ramapo College of New Jersey
“Judith Peck, Ed.D beautifully brings to life the inherent qualities in all children: energy, imagination, movement and creativity. The mind is never independent of the physical body. In this book Judith demonstrates how movement and creative expression are essential for learning and brain development.”
-Jean Seibel, MA, LCAT, BC-DMT, visiting professor Pratt Institute Graduate Dance Therapy Program
Dr. Judith Peck is Professor Emeritus of Art, Ramapo College of New Jersey. She is author of several books on art techniques and creativity in learning for teachers and parents. Her sculptures are included in 80 public and private collections internationally. Pictures and information about her work can be viewed at www.judithpeck.com and titles of other books at www.imagination-arts.com.