Junkfood compensates for stress?
The topic of exercise cannot be started early enough so that it is firmly anchored as a habit in the mind later. A Finnish initiative now wants to increase the fun of learning with movement. Hopping in math class as a recipe for success in the next PISA study?
What sounds absurd has a serious background. The educational pressure is enormous not only in the media's perception, but also in the private sphere. The European “middle class” is increasingly concerned about the competitiveness of their children. Especially well-off parents spend a lot of money and time in their children's education.
The result is tight curricula, private schools and tutoring. Junk food and entertainment serve more and more as a stress compensator and start at the hips of the new middle class. Over 50 percent of Europeans are overweight and 20 percent are obese.
Getting children to learn increases their willingness to learn
This development is currently increasing even faster and more drastically, especially in the emerging markets. Poor nutrition and increasing social pressure to perform are in a very close relationship. So how can you counteract these two developments? The Finnish non-profit organization Nuori Suomi ry set out to answer this question a few years ago.
Among other things, it was necessary to build on scientific studies that show that a lot of exercise increases children's willingness to learn and can counteract poor grades. This gave rise to the idea of a teaching tool for teachers with which exercise and health education can be easily integrated into the classroom.
Innovative teaching materials awarded
As part of the development of this new educational project, numerous concepts, methods and offers from Finnish schools were examined. One came across the “Liikuntaseikkailu - movement adventure around the world”. 75 percent of all primary schools and almost 50 percent of primary school children have been participating in this educational program for 13 years.
This approach gave rise to the idea of the international Muuvit adventure - an innovative teaching tool for teachers and a multiplication platform for authorities and programs. The concept even won the internationalization award of the Finnish organization for the promotion of technology and innovation - Tekes.
Movement adventure around the world
At Muuvit the children gather through movement points with which they can make a virtual journey around the world. This world contains content relevant to education and can be embedded, for example, in computational, technical or English teaching.
Some 250.000 children from 6 countries and 9 languages have completed the program this year. But it has to be embedded much better in the everyday school life of the teachers, so that the students do not realize that they are currently in a movement program. The children jumping in the math class should become the recipe for success for the next PISA rounds.
Prominent Supervisory Board
Sari Baldauf, who was ranked by the Financial Times as the most influential female manager in Europe in 2004, also sits on the board. In addition to her work for Muuvit, she sits on the supervisory boards of Deutsche Telekom and Daimler AG and is chairman of the supervisory board of Fortum Oyj, the largest listed company Company in Finnland.
In Germany, 2009 started the first pilot project with 5000 pupils from Lower Saxony and Finland - under the auspices of Prime Minister Christian Wulff and Cheferainer of VfL Wolfsburg Armin Veh.
From Finland, Muuvit spread through Germany to many other countries: In Switzerland, Muuvit is currently being used as a multiplication platform for cantonal programs in three languages. In 2012, pupils from the host countries of the FIFA European Football Championship in Poland and Ukraine also took part for the first time.
The first African school with Muuvit started with the “Hospital Hill Primary School”. And even beyond the “big pond”, Muuvit is well received: Ohio is the first US state to join the unique education project.
Dancing as a creative sports program in between
Another initiative to instill fun in movement starts with adults: lunch beat, dancing during lunch break. The idea comes from Stockholm, but has since spread further. A vision of the future - or not?
The idea behind it is simple: Instead of going out to dance after work, which most people don't do anyway, because then they are too tired, you just do it during the lunch break. As a kind of creative sports program in between - so that you can then continue to work much fresher and more creatively. It's not about the job, it's about dancing - that's the way the rules want it.
Internationally successful, a failure in Berlin
It is no coincidence that this idea arose in Sweden: it is common there to do sports during the lunch break. It has long since become an international movement that also has supporters in America and Africa. In Germany, especially in Berlin, which likes to see itself as the trend capital, things are only getting off to a slow start. At the side of Lunch beat Berlin it says:
Many, many people I spoke to from April to October 2012 came up with the idea of “Lunch Beat” klet. Very few could come. This made it a much too expensive "hobby" in terms of time and money, and I pulled the emergency brake. I suspect that one or the other will be disappointed (it's me).
There is such an idea to offer “lunch beat on call”, ie when a binding group comes together for an appointment ... I am also one of those who would find the idea great in principle - but when I think of the practical implementation, it will be for me A little difficult: In Berlin, for example, the paths are too far to go to the other end of the city and go dancing in the lunch break. And unlike in the gym, there are no showers in clubs. The colleagues will thank you afterwards for the smell of sweat. You would have to think again about the practicability. Too bad, because the idea is actually great!
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