Embodied Learning and Challenging Behavior

June 29, 2017 – The “Behavior is Communication” Issue.


Teachers and educators have been experiencing new challenges as a result of evolution and changes in society. While detailed and well-tailored academic curricula help them to accomplish their mission effectively, some challenges in everyday school life are still unsolved. These include “understanding and teaching the most challenging students.” In many cases, the effort to understand behavioral issues generates frustration, excessive demand, and even helplessness.

“The Only Behavior Teacher Can Control Is Their Own.”

Inspired by my friends Dr. Nancy Rappaport (Harvard Medical School) and Jessica Minahan (Newton, MA Public School System), who are authors of the wonderful book The Behavior Code, A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students, I started an experiment using my Embodied Learning teaching and performing materials.

Can pots, clothes hangers, buckets, strings, ropes, prisms, burlap bags, brushes, sticks, and some common wood lumber help teachers and educators to gain awareness of their behavior during class? Can the same materials be implemented in a classroom for managing transitions, fostering self-regulation, and rebuilding relationships?


I know they can because I’ve been doing research on it for the past four years.
A group of teachers and educators engages with their own sensory integration and challenges their tactile, vestibular, and kinesthetic perception using almost zero-budget materials. By doing this they discover excessive time pressure, the abuse of negative attention, unstructured learning environments, non-inclusive transitions, and instinctive (counterproductive) self-protection habits.

How to manage all of this? A bucket may help in the first place. Enjoy this short video:

I just launched a new product. It is called Behavior is Communication. It’s designed for those who want to approach the challenging behavior of students through embodied cognition, but are also aware that controlling their own behavior is the real beginning of change.

Behavior is Communication. We just have to find the best way to listen.

Talk soon! Tommaso

Upcoming Public Performances

Rocking Water at Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY

City of Water Day – Saturday, July 15, 2017, 11 AM – 3 PM

A life without a swing is a misunderstanding.

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Copyright © 2018 Tommaso Lana