Founders – Paul and Gail Dennison
Paul E. Dennison, Ph.D., is a professional Educator, a pioneer in the field of Kinesiology, and an authority on the breakthrough attainment of cognitive and academic skills. In the 1960’s Dr. Dennison began the seminal research into reading achievement and its relation to brain development that would form the basis for the Brain Gym work – the remarkable movement-based learning program that has helped people of all ages turn their learning challenges into successes.
Working alongside developmental optometrists, Dennison offered his students a full program in sensory development, including a few simple movements that seemed to help with equilibrium and perceptual skills. These movements would someday spark the idea for Brain Gym.
In 1975, at the University of Southern California, Paul received the Phi Delta Kappa award for Outstanding Research. He was granted a Doctorate in Education for his research in beginning reading achievement and its relationship to cognitive development and silent speech (thinking) skills. He began to develop what would later become Educational Kinesiology (Edu-k) —basing his discoveries on his unique understanding of the interdependence of physical development, language acquisition, and academic achievement.
In the early 1980’s, Paul joined forces with Gail, an artist and movement educator, who would later become his wife and collaborator.
They co-founded and co-created Educational Kinesiology, the Brain Gym® activities, and the Learning-through-Movement series of books and manuals, including Vision Gym®: Playful Activities for Natural Seeing. Gail E. Dennison is the originator of the Visioncircles, Double Doodle Play, and Movement Dynamics courses.
She has served for twenty-three years as Executive Editor of the Brain Gym® Journal.
Both Paul and Gail are members of the International Faculty for Brain Gym International, and are committed to a renewal and redefinition of the learning process for people of all ages and abilities.
Brain Gym® PROGRAM
Sensing the need for a self-teaching element, the Dennisons gathered some of their favorite activities for learning and moving, gave them playful names, and organized them according to the three dimensions from the advanced courses.
These activities were published in a little orange book called Brain Gym: Simple Activities for Whole-Brain Learning in 1986. This series of activities is known today as the Brain Gym movements, and forms the core of the Brain Gym program.
Many of the Brain Gym activities, such as the Owl, the Elephant, and Alphabet 8’s, were developed from Paul’s knowledge of the relationship of movement to perception and the impact of these on fine-motor and academic skills. Others were learned during his training as a marathon runner, his work with developmental optometrists doing vision training, and his study of Jin Shin Jitsu (a form of acupressure).
Dennison Laterality Repatterning and Three Dimension Repatterning are Paul’s original contributions to the field of education.
Gail brought in her own movements from her background in dance, natural vision training, acupressure, and Touch for Health.
Today the work is carried on by the International Faculty, each of whom is licensed by Brain Gym International.
Educational Kinesiology Foundation
In 1987, along with a small group of fellow educators dedicated to making self-initiated learning available to children and adults, the Dennisons founded the Educational Kinesiology Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Ventura, California.
Doing business as Brain Gym® International, the organization is committed to the principle that intentional movement is the door to optimal living and learning. Its mission is to support self-awareness and the ease of living and learning through safe, simple, and effective movement.
Source: writings of Paul and Gail Dennison
©2011 Brain Gym® International. Brain Gym is a registered trademark of Brain Gym® International/Educational Kinesiology Foundation, Ventura, CA