Learning about the differences between right- and left-brain thinking at the conference I described in the last post changed my approach to teaching and parenting.
Experiments in the 80s indicated that the right brain takes on thinking tasks that don’t require words: touch, taste, and smell; art and music; time, space, and distance; mathematics. Right-brain thinkers are musicians and artists and visionaries. They invent things. They tend to view very left-brain dominant people as more rigid, unimaginative, and traditional than they need to be–but they accept them anyway.
The experiments indicated that the left brain deals with sequence, order, cause-and-effect, logic, and particularly words. The left brain likes to name things and organize the relationships between them. Left-brain thinkers are writers, teachers, leaders in situations in which following rules and order are valued. They tend to think that very right-brain dominant people are too disorganized, illogical, forgetful, and easy-going.
In the photo below, left brainers probably prefer the wallpaper background with a pattern of identical designs in straight rows. Right brainers probably prefer the random colors, sizes, and arrangement in the tile sample from Lowe’s. What’s your preference?
Now–Imagine a parent or teacher that is a very dominantly right- or left-brain thinker dealing with a child, student, or colleague who is just as strongly the other. Is a situation like that coming to mind? Tell me about it! I’ll tell you about some of mine in the next post.