Bored in School? Are schools honoring the creative child?
So what are the gifts of the right brain? If we are to create solutions to problems that we don’t even know we’ll have, we know that the answer will come from the inspired thoughts from our right brain, our innovative brain. For a very clear description of the experience of thinking with the right brain see Jill Bolte Taylor talk about Her Stroke of Insight http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyyjU8fzEYU
Of course, it’s simplistic to think that we can do without the left hemisphere abilities since that’s the side that can implement the wonderful ideas of the right hemisphere. Still, I wish our culture would honor these “right brain” thinkers more.
Linda Silverman, Ph.D, is the Director of the Gifted Development Center in Denver, CO. She has done some interesting research showing that 1/3 of a sample of 750 students in grades 4, 5 and 6 were strongly visual/spatial, that is right brain dominant, whereas only ¼ were strongly auditory/sequential, left-brain dominant. The visual/spatial learners think in pictures rather than in words. They need to see the big picture before they can understand the details. They learn all at once, and when the light bulb goes on their learning is permanent. They don’t learn from repetition and drill and don’t learn step-by-step the way most teachers teach. They can get to solutions without knowing how they got there so being asked to “show their work” may be impossible for them. According to Silverman, “They are systems thinkers who can orchestrate large amounts of information from different domains, but they often miss the details.” They right-brain thinkers are not organized and are unaware of time but may be gifted creatively, technologically, mathematically, or emotionally.
So how are schools honoring these learners?