After receiving his undergraduate education at Boston University, Dr Dennison moved to California to teach elementary students in the Los Angeles public schools. There he assisted in the implementation of Dr Constance Amsden’s Malabar Reading Programme, well known as an innovative approach to teaching reading.
Dr Dennison established his first reading clinic in 1969. Two years later, after studying the seminal work of Dr Samuel T Orton in neurology and Drs Doman and Delacato, specialists in language development, he began introducing perceptual-motor training to his students. Over the next three years, he worked closely with Louis Jacques, OD, a leading pioneer in vision training, and Samuel Herr, OD, with whom he shared a learning centre. In 1975, Dr Dennison received the Phi Delta Kappa award from the University of Southern California for outstanding research where he earned his PhD in Education with a major in Curriculum Development and a minor in Experimental Psychology. His research study for his doctoral dissertation focused on the relationship of covert speech (thinking skills) to the acquisition of the skills of beginning reading.
In 1976, Dr Dennison began working closely with Chiropractor Richard Tyler and Sports Kinesiologist Bud Gibbs. Dr Dennison continued an active chiropractic and optometric referral programme for students through his nine learning centres. In 1978, Dr Tyler helped him to implement a longitudinal research study at the centres to see how Dr Dennison’s specific movement interventions might affect learning (see Switching On). In 1979, Dr Dennison took the Touch for Health course and, modelling that workshop format, began to outline the Edu-K programme.
His first book, Switching On, was published in 1981. He discovered his Laterality Repatterning in 1982 and began focussing on the adult population. In 1983, he developed Educational Kinesiology: Seven Dimensions of Intelligence (previously titled the “Edu-Kinesthetics In Depth” course). In 1984, he began working with Gail Hargrove Dennison with whom he developed other elective courses. Gail Dennison helped to systematise the Edu-K materials and developed the Creative Vision material, Vision Gym™ activities and Visioncircles programme.
In 1986, sensing the need for a self-teaching element in their work, Paul and Gail Dennison wrote about some of the activities they had been using in a small book called Brain Gym®: Simple Activities for Whole Brain Learning. Together, they have authored a number of books on Brain Gym and Educational Kinesiology.