Stamping, Clapping and Chanting: An Ancient Learning Pathway?

Marion M. Long


In this review I explore the effect of temporal integration as a means of improving learning in schoolchildren. I focus first on theorists that have linked physical activity with a positive effect on children’s learning and second to psychological studies that have established the existence of innate temporal patterns. These findings are related to a model of temporal integration that I have developed from Croce’s writings on aesthetics (1900). From philosophy to neurology, I discuss recent neurological findings relating to timing and conclude that an organ of temporal integration, regulation and coordination operates in the brain with respect to physical, intuitive and higher cognitive function. I link recent findings in neurophysiology to notably similar findings in recent biomusicological studies. The finding that humans have an involuntary physical response to loud, low-frequency sounds are attributed to an innate legacy of proto-music and proto-dance behaviour among hominids. I develop the model of temporal integration further by examining the literature on stamping and clapping patterns of ancient traditional dances in relation to Husserl’s writings on theoretical succession. From philosophy to pedagogy, I summarise the review by proposing stamping, clapping and chanting as a means of achieving improved temporal integration.

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