The Left Brain vs. the Right Brain: How Does This Impact Learning Over the years, schools have been teaching in the traditional way. This has proven to be successful for many students, but not all. By breaking down the brain and how each side of it processes information could make a more conducive learning environment. If both sides are maximized in the classroom, all of the students are able to excel. Which should be the goal of all schools. Before comparing the styles, knowing how the brain processes the information for different people needs to be looked at.
The brain processes information by the type of information that it is. Each side of the brain will process information differently. The left side of the brain will generally process information in a linear fashion. It will take the information and put it in a line and then draw the conclusion at the end. This is a sequential type of thinking. The left brain excels at information that comes in symbols, such as math formulas. It think of things in a logical sense. It can work through a problem in the logical sequence to come to the conclusion or answer.
The left brained individual does not have any issues with expressing themselves verbally. They know what they want to say, and they can say it correctly. The left brained person is grounded in the world of reality. They are able to adjust to their surroundings (Templeton, 2012). On the other hand, the right brained person is the opposite. Instead of being linear in their way of thinking, the right brained person likes to know what the result is before discussing the topic. They need to know what the “big picture” is first so that they know where they are going.
The right brained individual will jump around from task to task, not doing them in a sequential order. They still complete the tasks, but they will not prioritize the tasks. Where the left brained person likes symbols, the right brained person likes to deal with things that they can touch, real objects. The left brain looks at things in a logical manner, the right brain does things that feel right. They will base choices off of how they feel about something. A right brained person will want to see things visually. They will make mental pictures of the things that are discussed.
The right brained person may have difficulty in meeting deadlines because they want to change the things around them and are less attune to reality (Templeton, 2012). Now that the aspects of each side of the brain has been described, are we able to only function with one side of the brain? To read some of the literature that is out there on the subject, you would assume that this is what people think. If this was the case, then we would only have that side of the brain. The brain was made to work with both sides in conjunction with each other.
Yet, most people will be dominate one side more than the other. Radwan (2012) list ways that a person with either side brain dominant can use the other side. For example, a person that is left brained dominant should try to refrain from using only logic to make a decision. Radwan (2012) suggest listening to music while reading. that way the right side of the brain can be active in the process. For the person that is right brained, they should try to find out as much as they can about the issue or situation. Get more details about it.
They should also try using more numbers, this way the left side of the brain is working, too, according to Radwan (2012). How is the traditional way of teaching conducted? According to Novak (1998), the traditional way of teaching is where the teacher is the one with the power and responsibility, they play the role of the instructor. They teach through lectures. They will be the one that decides the curriculum and what they want the students to learn. Novak (1998) also states that the teachers are the reason that learning happens and that the students need to have the information that they are missing, given to them.
The classroom is generally set up with the desks or tables in a row with the teacher in the front of the classroom. The most important part of this process is the content and delivery of the lesson. It is believed that the student gets their knowledge through practice, which could include the note taking. This type of teaching will be competitive. (Johnson, 1991). Traditional style teaching can cause learning issues for some students. Not every person has the ability to learn this way. In a competitive arena, those that do not excel, may get left behind because they feel insignificant to the others.
If they are wrong in the front of the class, they may not want to answer questions, due to the feeling of being ridiculed. This type of teaching does not take into account the creative side of the student. The student that starts to “move back into their shell”, has the potential to start to fall behind. With the traditional style, that student will have a challenge to catch up since the technique is to continue to teach, fill the student with more knowledge. Brain based teaching is a different type of teaching then the traditional way. It is geared more for the success of the student.
It is broken down into three areas, before, during and after class. The before class section, which is conducted way in advance of the class, has two steps: pre-exposure and the environment. The pre-exposure has the teacher plan for those students that will need some extra help. The teacher determines how they will engage the students, making it interactive, to make them remember more of the lesson. The environment cannot always be adjusted, but when it can, the teacher will want to make the students feel safe. They will want to allow the students to sit wherever they want to.
The temperature and lighting will need to be adjusted and watched to ensure it is conducive with the learning environment. (Jensen, 2005) During the class, the teacher wants to ensure that they engage both the mind and body. This will keep the student awake and interested in the material. The next step will be to “frame” the lesson. This step gets the student interested in the lesson. It is like a motivator for the student to learn the material. Acquisition is the next aspect that needs to be looked at. This focuses on input where the students and teacher interact and learn from each other.
The teacher will want to elaborate on the topic to ensure that the learning has more detail. When the student has learned something new, time needs to be added at the end of class to reinforce the memory so that it can be recalled later. This is a very important part that is not done with traditional teaching. (Jensen, 2005) Jensen (2005) states that the after class section has two steps: “settling time and rest and review and revision. ” It is believed that rather than teaching a mass amount of information, interval learning is the better way.
Giving the students time to allow the information to settle by giving them breaks. As time goes on, the students will start to forget the information that was taught to them. If time is set aside to review the information and revise the students knowledge, they will remember it longer. A study was conducted in Pakistan to find out which style of teaching is more productive. It was conducted in Pakistan because the only style that has ever been taught is the traditional style. Fifty students were used in the study; twenty-five were the control, traditional, and twenty-five were the experimental.
All of the students were given a pre-test in physics. The scores were recorded and then they were taught in the two different styles. At the end of the study, they were given a post-test. The results showed that the students that studied under the brain based technique were able to learn and retain more compared to the students under the traditional style. (Ali, 2010) For years schools have taught using the traditional style of teaching. Knowing what each side of the brain processes and using that to teach students has proven to be effective.
By combining the creative side with the linear side ensures that students stay interested in the material. By staying interested, they are able to learn more, and more importantly, retain more information. References Ali, R. , Hukamdad, Ghazi, S. , Shahzad, S. , & Khan, H. (2010). The Impact of Brain Based Learning on Students Academic Achievement. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research In Business, 2 (2). 542-556. Jensen, E. (2005). Teaching with the Brain in Mind. Alexandria, VA. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development.
Johnson D, Johnson R. (1991). Learning Together and Alone ed3. ;Allyn & Bacon, Sydney. Novak, J. (1998). Learning, Creating and Using Knowledge: Concept Maps as Facilitative Tools in Schools and Corporations; Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc; New Jersey, pp 24-25. Radwan, M. (2012). Learn How To Use Both Sides of Your Brain (the Left and Right Hemisphere. Retrieved from: http://www. 2knowmyself. com/The_brain/learn_how_ use_both_sides_of_your_brain_left_right. Templeton, M. (2012). Learning Styles. Retrieved from: http://frank. mtsu. edu/~studskl/hd/ learn. html.
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