Left and Right Brain Dominance and the Impact on Learning
The idea of left-brain and right-brain dominance derived from a study performed by a neuropsychologist by the name of Roger Sperry (1954). Based on this study it was gathered that each person learns and thinks by using mainly one hemisphere of their brain. Some people are right-brain dominant and some are left-brain dominant. There are also some that think with part of each side. These people are referred to as middle-brained or whole-brained thinkers.
Research has shown that right-brain learners are more intuitive and spontaneous people. The right side of the brain is visual. “Visual-spatial skills of location and direction (maps), reorganizing colors and shapes and imagining and arranging them into art (sculpture, painting, architecture, music, rhythm, and dance) are functions of the right brain.” (O’Conner, 1997, p. 8) The right-brained tend to look at the big picture and overall outcome with little regard to the details. A left-brained is driven by logic and prefers following steps or a specific system to accomplish a task. When given new information, those governed by the left hemisphere of the brain dissect that information and gather all the pertinent details and facts. “It works step-by-step; sees things in parts; puts things in order; remembers people’s names; comes up with logical answers to problems.” (O’Conner, 1997, p. 9) Middle-brained learners draw from each hemisphere so it is apparent that they would have more of an advantage. Many studies have been conducted that validate the differences between each hemisphere.
Another study was conducted on the effect of right and left brain dominance when learning English as a second language. The subjects used were all taught by different teachers who used various teaching methods in their classrooms. In this study students were given a quiz to determine their brain dominance. (Oflaz, 2011) The left-brain students in this research were more organized than their right-brain counterparts. (Oflaz, 2011) They also approached things more seriously and realistically and creativeness was not a strong point. (Oflaz, 2011) Language was an area in which the left hemisphere excelled. (Oflaz, 2011) In essence, if you were to ask a left-brained person to put their ideas into words they would be able to do so without much problem. They tend to choose the best wording to convey their ideas. In this same study, right-brained students showed to be less serious-minded, more humorous, and more creative. (Oflaz, 2011) While a right-brained individual is good with imagination, creativity, and art, they have a hard time putting these ideas into words or in writing. They would fare better by drawing a picture or diagram. They also recalled faces rather than names and pictures rather than words unlike the left-brained students.(Oflaz, 2011) If one was to ask a right-brained individual to describe an event, for example, it is highly probable they would...