Right Brain-Left Brain Thinking



leftandrightbrain.jpg
http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/~bump/images/miscellaneous/leftandrightbrain.jpg


Definition ( Funderstanding ):
This learning theory suggests that a person's brain has two different ways of thinking and a person prefers one over the other. The left half of the brain mainly deals with logical and objective thinking when working out problems while the right half is creative and more emotional in working a problem. This does not mean that one half of the brain does one skill and not another skill. Both halves of the brain function in performing the skill. It is just that one side is more active in doing the skill than the other side.

Right Brain-Left Brain Thinking in the Classroom ( Funderstanding ):
In the classroom, the teacher must try to strike a balance in their lessons to be able get their students to use both sides of their brain's thinking on assignments, especially their creative and synthesizing right half of their brains. To achieve this in their heavily analytical curriculum, teachers are suggested to use more:
-role playing : this video shows how kids interpreted Shakespeare's play by doing their own performance of the play instead of just reading it
-visuals : this video shows how a video program can be used to display content involved in educating kids about insecurity
-movement

Assessments ( Funderstanding ):
New tests need to be developed, according to the Funderstanding website, to test both sides of a students thinking. These tests could include the usual question and answer section or multiple choice section for one part and the other part could ask the student to create a scenerio using the information from the unit and answer the problem using the methods and info from that unit. Or, the teacher could give a thought question of a scenerio in which the student needs to look at all the information and work his/her way to a plausible answer that makes sense and back it up with sound reasoning. For the non-science courses, the student could be asked to act out a scene to see if the student understands the unit information or create a piece of artwork that demonstrates he/she understands the subject of the testing material.

Founders of Theory ( Left Brain, Right Brain, Whole Brain? ) :
Paul Broca did early scientific work on the brain in the 1860's and discovered that parts of the brain were specialized for certain functions. His work found that the speech function is centered in the left hemisphere of the brain. This began research of the right-left specialization of the brain.

Dr. Roger W. Sperry, a nobel prize recipient, did split brain research and found that the corpus callosum connects the two sides of the brain together. He then discovered that when the corpus callosum was severed (for medical reasons), the brain creates two seperate minds. There's one mind in one hemisphere and one in the other. The right side of the brain was more visual and emotional, while the left side of the brain was more analytical and objective.

Ned Herrmann went a step further than Sperry and developed the theory of brain dominance. The theory says that people develop a thinking preference, either the "left brain" analytical techniques or the "right brain" intuitive understanding.

For more information on this topic or to find out what side of your brain you are, click on one of the links below:
Learning Styles
"Left Brain" "Right Brain" : The MInd in Two
Left Brain/Right Brain