How the Brain Impacts Learning

Published: 2021-07-31 03:15:07
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Category: The Brain

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The brain is a very complex and amazing organ that consists of two very important halves. The right hemisphere and the left hemisphere, both of these effect how we learn and process information. In most cases we have a dominate side whether it be the left or right side. In some cases it is found that there are whole brained thinkers pulling information from both sides of the brain. Let’s cover how the brain works, what subjects each side learns and how it processes information, teaching techniques for the right, left and whole brained learners.
The brain is made up of two halves, or hemispheres – the left brain and the right brain. The brain is divided into two distinct and separate parts by a fold that runs from the front to the back. These parts are connected to each other by a thick cable of nerves at the base of each brain, called the corpus collosum. A good analogy is that of two separate, incredibly fast and immensely powerful computers, each running different program from the same input, connected by a network cable, or the corpus collosum.
The left hemisphere of our brain is “wired” to the right side of our body and vice versa. This even applies to our eyes, with information from our right eye going to the left hemisphere and information from our left eye feeding the right hemisphere”(Eden, Left brain right brain) The left and right side of the brain have different ways to process how they take in information and learn different subjects. Let’s start with the right side of the brain and see how it works in this way.
The right hemisphere process the information best with demonstrated instructions, looking for patterns, similarities, open ended questions, drawings and is free with its feelings. “Right-brain students are the dreamers. They can be very intelligent and very deep thinkers—so much so that they can get lost in their own little worlds. They make great students of the social sciences and the arts. ” (Fleming, 2011) The Left side sees things differently than the right side preferring verbal instructions, logical thinking, talking and writing, multiple choice testing and controls feelings. Dominant left brain students will be more organized, they’ll watch the clock, and they’ll analyze information and process it sequentially.
They are often cautious, and they follow rules and schedules. Left brain students are strong in math and science, and can answer questions quickly. ”(Fleming, 2011) The whole brained learners or middle brained learners, are the ones that can use both sides to processes the different information which is a great benefit to their success in life. They can look at a situation and choose which side would best solve the situation. Students who are middle brain oriented can have strong qualities from either hemisphere. Those students can benefit from logic from the left and intuition from the right. ”(Fleming, 2011) We are all different in the way we use our brain; some having a dominate side and some utilizing both sides. Thus leaving the question of how teaching techniques can stimulate both sides? Teachers have a great responsibility teaching our children and they should teach in a way that can stimulate both sides of our brain or better yet the whole brain.
It is important to know what types of thinkers you have in your classroom so they can be better taught. The examples above should give you an idea of how the right, left and middle brained thinkers take in the information so let’s move forward to how you can help teach them better. “For many students, particularly those who are “right-brained,” a visual, such as a picture or 3-D model, can help them better understand a concept. Another way to help “right-brained” students is to pair music with learning.
Have students make up a song about history facts and sing it to the melody of a familiar song such as “On Top of Old Smoky. ” Let these students see, feel, and touch things. “Right-brained” students also seem to thrive when doing group or hands-on activities. ”(Quantum Learning, 1999, p. 31) Activities should include shared learning, group discussions, role-playing and experiments. These learning techniques will greatly benefit our right brained learners. To help “left-brained” students, provide information in very logical sequences—for example, make (numbered) lists for them. Another way to help students with a left-brain preference is to give them typed or printed directions. Let these students do their work step by step. “Left-brained” students seem to thrive when following plans and having structure with activities. ” (Quantum Learning, 1999, p. 31) Activates should include analysis, research, realistic projects and worksheets. These learning techniques will benefit the left brained thinkers.
Keeping in mind though, that many teaching techniques can benefit all of your students; it is also important to use both of these techniques to benefit the students that use both the left and right side of their brain. As an educator you need to understand how your students learn best whether it is a; dominate left or right brained student or the whole brained learner that likes a mixture of both techniques. Another great benefit you can find using these techniques in your lessons is to get a dominate brained student to use there less used side of thinking.
Through this we have learned how the brain works, how we process and learn information using both sides of our brain and how teaching techniques are important in learning as a whole. We all learn new things each and every day so use this as it is vital information to help you learn to your full potential. Today, in more than years past, we are using these studies to help students learn as much as they can. Teaching curriculums are always on par with the best technology out there and the more that we learn about the differences between the two halves of the brain the more our children can learn.

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