Embrace Your Knowledge

Shared here is an insight on how useful and exciting the art of paper folding (origami) is to impart education in an easy way to the students, especially those in government schools who seldom come across exciting ways of learning. Following is an insight on what Origami exactly is and how it can nurture a child.

The Art
Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding. It literally translates as ori (folding) gami (paper). In Japan, Children learn origami at their mothers’ knees. In the West, children are learning it at school. Research has shown that paper-folding, particularly in the elementary school years, is a unique and valuable addition to the curriculum. Origami is not only fun, but it is also a valuable method for developing vital skills.

Educational Benefits of Origami

  • Behavioral Skills
  • Cooperative Learning
  • A Link to Math
  • Cognitive Development
  • Multi-cultural Awareness
  • Community Building

Behavioral Skills
Origami is an example of “schematic learning through repeatable actions”. To be successful, the student must watch closely and listen carefully to specific instructions and then carry them out with neatness and accuracy. Here is a case where a student’s success is imposed by the activity rather than the teacher. Like group singing, hand games, and dancing, the pleasure comes in recreating the result and sharing it with others. For many students, it engenders a patience that leads pride in one’s work, the ability to focus energy, and increased self-esteem.

Cooperative Learning
Origami is well-suited to working with a classroom of 30 or more students. In a multi-age setting, paper-folding tends to eliminate the status associated with age differences; the younger children are often in a position to teach the older children, and it provides an activity that works well when teaming different grade levels. Many teachers report that children, who do no “star” in other places, are often quick to learn origami and help their classmates master the steps.

A Link to Math
Transforming a flat piece of paper into a three dimensional crane (or other origami figure) is a unique exercise in spatial reasoning. Origami is also important in teaching symmetry; for many of the folds, whatever is done to one side is done to the other. This is, of course, a fundamental algebraic rule that can be shown outside the framework of a formal “math lesson”. In addition, paper-folding allows students to create and manipulate basic geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles, and triangles.

Cognitive Development
Through the actual folding, children use their hands to follow a specific set of steps in sequence, producing a visible result that is at once clever and pleasing. The steps must be performed in a prescribed order to yield a successful outcome – an important lesson not only in math, but in life. Piaget, the renowned child development psychologist, held that “motor activity in the form of skilled movements is vital to the development of intuitive thought and the mental representation of space”.

Multi-cultural Awareness
Rooted in Asia, origami reflects the ingenuity and aesthetics of Japanese culture. By participating, students gain appreciation of a different culture, perhaps opening a doorway to further exploration and increased tolerance.

Community Building
Origami and crane-folding in particular, are frequently used to unite a school in a thematic activity. Folding a thousand cranes, hanging them in a school library exemplify the power of collaboration and the very satisfying achievement of a group objective. Such truly constructive activities enhance feelings of competence and unity throughout a school.

But according to the latest research on the brain and the work of Doctor Katrin Shumakov and Yuri Shumakov, when both hands are engaged, impellent motor impulses activate the language portion of the brain. These further aids in unfolding 20+ concepts to a student, no doubt benefits are manifold! Major concepts and learning involved are:
  • Reading Skills
  • Writing Skills
  • Speech Enhancement
  • Processing Skills
  • Visual Motor
  • Attention Skills
  • Concentration
  • Sequencing
  • Ecology
  • Creativity
  • Oriental Culture
  • Independent Study
  • Social Skills
  • Self Confidence
  • Manual Dexterity
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Math Concepts
  • Measurement
  • Geometry
  • Proportion
  • Fractions
  • Symmetry
  • Problem Solving
  • Science Principles