Is There Such a Thing as Two Brains?
The human brain has always been a mystery. For many years researchers and scientists have ventured into the daunting task of understanding how the brain works. Even though they have accomplished to unearth new ideas and theories there is still an overwhelming abyss of the unknown. There is one theory that stands out the most from all others known as the right brain-left brain theory which originated from the work of Roger W. Sperry and who was awarded with the Nobel Prize in 1981. Since then there have been scientific research that suggest that the brain for the most part works as a whole rather than independently divided by two hemispheres. With all of these new discoveries emerging everyday there are still many educators and scholars that believe in the right brain-left brain theory and have found ways to incorporate new teaching strategies focused around the idea of students being dominate by one or the other side of the brain. According to Webb (1983), schools and society are most concerned in understanding the brain and in this way try to improve man’s ability to learn, to think, to solve problems, and to create (p. 508).
Science has determined that the brain can be divided into two hemispheres and that the two hemispheres are connected by the corpus callosum. The corpus callosum is a body of nerve fibers that serves as a communication bridge between the two hemispheres. If science has already determined that the two hemispheres do communicate with each other, why then do educators support the theory of a dominate side? For many years teachers in the classroom have noticed that each student learns differently and also tend to have strengths in certain subjects while weaknesses in others. Pritchard (2008) implies that one hemisphere is predominantly concerned with the logical (left-brain) and the other with the more creative (right-brain) (p. 87). With this in mind if a student is good with numbers, logic and critical thinking he/she is considered to be left-brain dominant vs. the right-brain dominant student that is more comfortable with creativity, music, expressing emotions and reading emotions. In the past many educational organizations have had their curriculums evolve around a logical approach to teaching and in a way alienating the right-brain dominant student. Just because the professor teaches the opposite way doesn’t mean the student will be unsuccessful. (Leesmann, 2012) However it is safe to say that currently they have incorporated more strategies to benefit the right-brain dominant student. But is it beneficial only to the right-brain or could the left-brain also benefit from this? Could this cause the brain to evolve and thus cause both hemispheres to communicate amongst each other more?
Webb (1983) asked the question “Are the hemispheres trying to create a balance with each other?” (p. 511). According to Pritchard (2008) yes, some functions are shared, in the case of...