Left Brain/Right Brain

I have a friend who decided to change careers in her forties from computers to teaching children and went back to school to accomplish this goal. She has been teaching fourth and fifth grade and from what I read and hear, she is an awesome teacher. She has completed her Bachelor’s degree and her Masters and is working on a Specialist degree. Along the way, I have edited all of her papers. (I should be earning some sort of degree by osmosis.)

Her latest paper is about brain-based learning. Different people learn in different ways according to their learning preferences. We learn best when all our senses are engaged. If a teacher only stands in front of a classroom and lectures, most of her students won’t get it. If you add visual, movement, music, poetry, games, etc., you will engage more of the brain and more of the students.

This paper talks about right brain/left brain leanings, so of course I went off track and took one of those tests. The test said I was moderately right brained. Apparently, reading and writing are left brain activities, so it doesn’t really fit. On the other hand (or side of the brain) the right brain is supposed be creative. But who’s to say we fit into slots and how accurate are such tests.

Wouldn’t you think that reading and writing come from the same part of the brain? Apparently they don’t. I know a woman who had a stroke, which took away her ability to read. Strangely enough, she could still write and type with no trouble. With time, she is regaining her reading ability, but she had to go back to reading “Dick and Jane” type books to get started. I haven’t asked her, but I wonder if she could read what she wrote.

The paper I was editing for my schoolteacher friend also said we need to engage both sides of the brain to retain what we learn. So, here’s to using your head, your whole head.