LEFT BRAIN/RIGHT BRAIN THEORY + THOUGHTS ON EDUCATION

by | Inspiration, The Lills

The human brain is a three pound-ish complex organ, made up of two hemispheres. Both hemispheres control certain functions and together, act as a control center for processing information. Some people believe individuals are either Left Brain dominant or Right Brain dominant, while others say the Left Brain/Right Brain theory is just not so.

Whether or not we are Left Brain or Right Brain dominant, some of us have difficulty learning in a traditional fashion. The education system and most schools are built to teach us in a very “Left Brain” way. Sitting still, reading text books, listening to lectures and taking written tests doesn’t work for everyone. Some people learn better through hands-on and visual experiences. This may be because of the difference between Left Brain/Right Brain dominant individuals or just personality differences.

In the 60’s, a man named Roger Wollcot Sperry, won the Nobel Prize for his research on the theory that Left Brain dominant people are more logical, while Right Brain dominant people are more creative. See below:

He believed the Left Brain was characterized by:

  • Logic/Facts
  • Linear Thinking
  • Mathematics
  • Numbers/Words

He believed the Right Brain was characterized by:

  • Imagination/Creativity
  • Feeling/Intuition
  • Music/Art
  • Visual/Hands-On Learning
Brain Hemisphere Illustration | Left Brain Right Brain | The Lills

Learning which side of the brain is more dominant in an individual, or whether a person is more analytical or creative, can help determine the best way to teach them. Right Brainers can expect to have a more difficult time learning at a traditional school. Instead of labeling kids with poor grades as ADD or ADHD, maybe we can be open to the idea that it is not the school children who are the issue, but possibly the methods of teaching and the school system itself.

We met a man who said, “the traditional educational system’s main goal is to produce successful repeaters“. The ones who get the A’s are the ones who are best at memorizing facts, following orders and taking written tests. He feels children are taught to take in facts and spit them back out, instead of being encouraged to question things, experiment and evolve our understanding as a race. We couldn’t agree more. We shouldn’t expect ourselves to have all of the answers, but instead, we should ask more questions.

Individuals can determine whether they are Left Brain or Right Brain dominant or more analytical or creative and choose other paths of education. There are so many non-traditional schools, like Montessori, a school designed with mixed-age classrooms, so older students can learn to help younger students and younger students can learn to help older students. This type of schooling allows children to choose their activities and they are encouraged to move around the classroom freely. It supports and encourages children’s natural desire to learn.

Individuals can also take things into their own hands by doing Left Brain/Right Brain exercises. Physical exercise helps improve memory and learning too. Our favorite thing to do to workout our brains is switch the hand we use when brushing our teeth, when eating with utensils or drawing. This allows us to teach both hands and both hemispheres of the brain to work together.

There are many other ways to boost cognitive function, like eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep, but if you want to go a step further and begin training your brain, search online for fun brain exercises. It’s amazing to see after just a few days, how much better we became at retaining information. If you want to go ten steps further and connect with the pineal gland in your brain, click here.

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