The Left Brain vs. the Right Brain: How does this Impact Learning
Posted by Emmahope on July 19th, 2019
The left brain versus the right brain theory puts forward the view that each person has a dominant brain hemisphere. The dominant brain hemisphere influences a person’s learning process and personality. For instance, left brain dominant persons are considered more logical than people who depend on their right brain. However, right brain dominant persons are considered more creative than left brain dominant. The above theory is based on the emphasis that the brain is lateralized. Each hemisphere is thought to have particular cognitive processes. According to the above theory, each side of a person’s brain controls different types of thoughts. Furthermore, people are considered to prefer one way of thinking over the other. In the light of the left brain-right brain theory, a left-brained person is expected to be more logical, more analytical, and more objective. A right-brained person is expected to exhibit intuitiveness, thoughtfulness, and subjectivity. In psychology studies, the Left brain-Right brain theory is anchored on the concept of lateralization of brain function. The work of Roger W. Sperry provided the basis for the right brain-left brain theory. In studying the effects of epilepsy, severing the corpus callosum can reduce or eliminate epileptic seizures. On the downside, the subject epileptic patients experienced the other undesired symptoms after the communication pathway between the two hemispheres of the brain was cut. For example, a sizeable number of the split-brain patients were incapable of naming objects that were perceived by the right part of the brain. The split-brain patients were interestingly able to name objects that were processed by the left hemisphere of the brain.
The Impact of the Left Brain-Right Brain Theory on Learning
The Right Brain Learner
The human being's right brain hemisphere is most adept at expressive and creative tasks. Some of the abilities that are most often associated with the right hemisphere of the human brain include recognition of faces, expression of emotions, deciphering music, reading emotions, sensing color, processing images, intuition, and creativity. Right brain learners often like spontaneous activities as opposed to planned events every day. Right brain learners hence seek change. Right brain learners will memorize best by the use of meaning, colors, pictures, stories or emotions. Right brain learners will normally not plan ahead on a regular basis. Such learners are comfortable involving a parent or both parents while doing daily lessons. It is imperative to appreciate that right brain learners do not work on items sequentially, but will skip around in their work. Such learners make tremendous achievement rather quantum leaps in their learning. They are able to make a logical conclusion from limited supporting evidence. Interestingly, right brain learners find mathematics rather repetitive and somewhat boring to do. Right brain learners will opt for projects and discussions as opposed to workbook learning. Learners classified as right brain will not do best with self-paced curriculum or computer curriculum. The learners will do more with a curriculum that requires notable parent and teacher involvement. Such a curriculum is for instance unit studies, hands-on curriculum, and interactive sessions with adults.
The Left Brain Learner
The human brain's left hemisphere is considered best at areas that require logic, language processing, and critical thinking. The left brain is best associated with handling and processing of language, logic, critical thinking, reasoning, and numbers. A left brain learner with respect to left brain-right brain theory will tend to seek structure in school, memorize best by repetition, and prefer to have a week’s schedule beforehand. Furthermore, left-brained learners prefer to work independently and favor making lists for checking them off as the tasks are accomplished. Left brain learners will factor in multiple sources of evidence in the thinking process before drawing a conclusion. Left brain learners tend to find mathematics interesting and are often good at it. Such learners prefer predictability and compactness of workbooks. They can do fine with self-driven and computer curriculum.
Several authors have discounted the left brain-right brain theory. Learning one’s strengths and weaknesses in specific areas can help one develop effective ways to learn and study. For instance, a student with difficulty in following verbal instructions that are cited as a right brain quality may benefit from capturing directions on paper. A child eventually develops desired organizational skills. In the light of Left Brain-Right Brain Theory, a number of right-brain dominant children can adjust to the left-brain curriculum with little effort. In such scenario, there is no motivation to effect changes for the respective child. However, if the learner is straining to be successful in learning, then some considerations have to be made. In most cases, having the struggling right-brained learner in a more right brain friendly curriculum mitigates against the shortcomings of the right-brain learner (Morris, 2014). The above measure eases the child’s school day each day. When a child on an assessment needs a radical strategy to make learning easy, it is often best to try right brain teaching strategies.
In conclusion, the important factor in affecting various learning styles is to understand how the brain functions. Both sides of the brain reason although by different strategies. Therefore, one side of the brain may be dominant over the other side. A left-brain learner is inclined to learn stepwise starting from details to a conceptual comprehension of a skill. A right-brain learner prefers to start learning from the general concept before going on to specifics.
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