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Andrew Old, blogging on Scenes from the Battleground, wrote a piece on Brain Gym, a system of simple exercises promoted by Britain‘s Education Ministry and used in thousands of schools around the country. He includes a couple of video clips from a 2008 Newsnight program that suggest it’s not backed up by actual science: is this proof that the children educated in anti-knowledge philosophy, that self-esteem and confidence matter more than learning content? The claims for Brain Gym are interesting; if they are genuine then more investigation would seem indicated, but surely more evidence should be required before schools either shell out taxpayers’ money for such a program, or before schools use children as guinea pigs?

Towards the end of video clip 1, a teacher who uses Brain Gym invites some of her pupils to give their thoughts on it. They are clearly just parrotting what they have been told; none of them talk about what they actually experience.

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