Right or Left Brain Training Conundrum - Which Lobe of Brain is Your Children on?
By Andrew Loh
Parents usually hear other people say that children think and learn
either by using their left portion of the brain or the right. Just go
through a parenting web site, and you might have read something about
right and left brain learning. From parental TV shows to books, this
topic is one of the most popular that poses several dicey and important
questions. Before, reading this article, I would suggest you to learn
what exactly is right and left brain theory and in what manner it can
influence learning in children.
Left and right brain theory
This theory suggests that two lobes or sectors of human
brains act in tandem and they also control different kinds of thinking.
Apart from this, this perceived discrepancy in brain functioning also
leads to people preferring one certain type of thinking over the other.
In psychological domain, a theory called lateralization of normal brain
functions influences right and left brain learning. In effect, the
overall summary of this theory is that some people use one side of the
brain to think and learn while others use the other side to control
brain functions. Providing example for this thinking type could be a
A person is who is supposedly right brained may
show better logical and analytical skills. On the contrary, a person who
is right brain endowed might show lots of intuitiveness and
thoughtfulness. The right and left brain theory was first suggested by a
well-known Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Roger W. Sperry who worked on
patients with epilepsy. He found out that use of language was controlled
by the left side of the brain. However, recent research has shown that
humans need both lobes of brains to optimize learning and understanding.
Now, let us learn more about two side of brain - the right brain
The right brain lobe
Experts suggest us that
right brain lobe can work best in tasks that need expressiveness and
creativity. In other words, it influences all tasks that are connected
with expression and creativity. For example, the following tasks are
controlled by the right side of the brain:
The left brain lobe
Experts also suggest is that the left lobe of the brain performs very well in tasks that
demand logical reasoning, linguistics and analysis/interpretation.
People, who are strong in left side of the brain, can exhibit the
Learning languages and dialects
Reading foreign language letters
Recognizing numbers and math
Better reasoning skills
Listed here is some of the
information processing types that are typically used by right or left
side lobe of the brain. This might help you know different types of
information processing styles and in what manner parents could use them
to train their children to learn in an effective manner.
Linear and holistic processing of information
The left lobe of the brain
always processes available information in a linear or sequential manner.
In other words, it processes details from smaller chunks to whole,
arranges them in a sequential manner and creates conclusions in a
logical style. On the contrary, the right lobe acts in a reverse manner
by taking the picture as a whole and in a holistic manner. In fact, it
starts with the bigger picture and from the answer itself. Right brain
endowed children might need to have prior information about a specific
lesson before listening to the lesson recited by the teacher in the
classroom. Right brained children often find following teaching very
tedious as they must get a bigger picture of the lesson first before
proceeding to parts of the lessons. On the other hand, left brained
children use their right lobe in an effective manner.
Sequential and random processing of available information
The left lobe of the brain processes available information in a sequential manner. It
likes to process in an orderly manner. In other words, it is a sort of
index maker and involves daily planning or schedule making. It is also
like “finish a task and tick it off” type of working style. Left brained
people are usually good in spelling and mathematics as these subjects
involve rigid ordering of available information. On the other hand,
right lobed brain children like to work on a random basis. In other
words, they may like to meander through different tasks without any
Symbolic and concrete processing of available information
The left brained children can easily process symbolic
information like math notations, letters, words and symbols. In other
words, they are quite good in linguistic and mathematical subjects. On
the other hand right lobed children demand things to crystal clear and
concrete. They usually like to feel and touch real objects so that they
can be sure of they are learning. Their weaknesses might range from
finding difficulty in using phonics and language and solving
mathematical problems. In a way, these children are “hands-on” type of
learners and inclined towards subjects that involve “doing”.
There are many more different information processing styles that
differentiate right and left brain learning. However, the most
challenging task for a parent is learning how to tackle a right brain
learner in a complex world of left brain learning domain. Almost all
right brain learners are unconventional and they find learning by using
left brain very difficult. This might make learning in a typically
academic environment quite daunting. Parents may need to learn different
techniques to train such children so that they become “learning
optimized” just like any other left lobe learners. The next article will
simple suggestions to train a right brain learner.