Reflexes and their relevance to learning

  • Leanne Seniloli


Knowledge and understanding of retained primitive reflexes and how they can impact learning is paramount for teaching to a diverse inclusive classroom especially with regard to children with non-specific and specific learning difficulties. It has ramifications for the physical, emotional, academic and social aspects of each child's school experience. Movement as the basis for learning is a well-known and accepted educational practice, and by incorporating reflex integration programmes teachers can help children consistently access higher brain centres. It is one more strategy to add to teachers’ kete (basket) of knowledge to produce better outcomes in line with the government’s mandate that all students should experience presence, participation, and achievement in schools. This paper outlines some research in this field relating to the prevalence of reflexes in older children, and the impact of reflexes on learning. It follows with discussion of behaviours of children with these reflexes, suggests practical applications for classroom practice, and concludes with a list of additional resources and references.

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