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How was Educational Kinesiology started?

Paul Dennison, Ph.D., remedial educational specialist and founder of the Educational Kinesiology Foundation, developed the program over a period of 25 years. Dr Dennison was director of California's Valley Remedial Group Learning Centers in California. The eight learning centers offered Dennison students with whom he could actively explore the effects of specific movements on the ability to learn various academic skills. During this time, he drew from a broad spectrum of innovative work in the fields of education, developmental vision, and personal development as he focused on the causes and treatment of learning disabilities.

Dr. Dennison served as director of the Valley Remedial Group Learning Centers for 19 years, helping children and adults turn their learning difficulties into successful growth. In 1980, he synthesized his work and began travelling and teaching internationally. Since that time, the Edu-K processes and applications have continued to evolve.

Dr. Dennison has been an educator for all of his professional life. His work is based on an understanding of the interdependence of physical movement, language acquisition, and academic achievement. His effective and ground-breaking approach to teaching grew out of his background in brain research and experimental psychology. He and Gail Dennison have published fourteen books and manuals, beginning with Switching On: A Guide to Edu-Kinesthetics, published in 1980, and most recently BRAIN GYM for Business: Instant Brain Boosters for On-The-Job Success published in 1994 with Jerry V. Teplitz, J.D., Ph.D.

After receiving his undergraduate education at Boston University, Dr. Dennison moved to California to teach elementary students in the Los Angeles public schools. There he assisted in the implementation of Dr. Constance Amsden’s Malabar Reading Program, well known as an innovative approach to teaching reading.

Dr. Dennison established his first reading clinic in 1969. Two years later, after studying the seminal work in neurology of Dr. Samuel T. Orton, Dennison began introducing perceptual-motor training to his students. Over the next three years, he worked closely with Louis Jacques, O.D., a leading pioneer in vision training, and Samuel Herr, O.D., with whom he shared a learning center. In 1975, Dr. Dennison received the Phi Delta Kappa award from the University of Southern California for outstanding research where he earned his Ph.D. in Education with a major in Curriculum Development and a minor in Experimental Psychology.

His research study for his doctoral dissertation focused on the relationship of covert speech (thinking skills) to the acquisition of the skills of beginning reading. In 1976, Dennison began working closely with chiropractor Richard Tyler and sports kinesiologist Bud Gibbs. Dennison continued an active chiropractic and optometric referral program for students through his nine learning centers.

In 1978, Dr. Tyler helped him to implement a longitudinal research study at the centers to see how Dennison’s specific movement interventions might affect learning (see Switching On). In 1979, Dennison took the Touch for Health course and, modeling that workshop format, began to outline the Edu-K program. His first book, Switching On, was published in 1981. He discovered his Laterality Repatterning in 1982 and began focusing on the adult population. In 1983, he developed Educational Kinesiology: Seven Dimensions of Intelligence (previously titled the “Edu-Kinesthetics In Depth” course).

In 1984, he began working with Gail Hargrove Dennison with whom he developed other elective courses. Gail Dennison helped to systematize the Edu-K materials and developed the Creative Vision material, Vision Gym™ activities, and Vision circles program.

Kinesio-Coaching    What are Edu-K’s Three Dimensions?

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