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The Left Brain vs. the Right Brain: How Does This Impact Learning

Learning is a process or an act of gaining knowledge. It is normally provided by a curriculum in a school environment. The brain is the organ in the body that is fully responsible for receiving and synthesizing information. A proper understanding of the brain is therefore important for instructors in order to develop the right curriculum that will not only increase understanding but also make the information useful to learners. The main objective of this research paper is to analyze the left and the right hemispheres of the brain and how they, either independently or as a team, impact learning.

The two main sections controlling learning are the left and right hemispheres, which normally work in a team all the time for each to accomplish its task in a learning process. Briefly, the left hemisphere does analytical and sequential reasoning as well as some visual tasks of more concrete nature. This is observed in more than 90% of right-handed people. On the other hand, the right hemisphere performs language tasks at some concrete levels and synthetic reasoning. It is noted that all the brain’s intellectual and motor functions can easily be performed by either of the brain hemispheres. This points out that no one is totally right brained or rather left brained. Therefore, both sides of the brain need to be developed (Gertrude, 1983).

When looked from above, the brain seems to comprise of identical halves referred to as right and left hemispheres. The information on how each of the two hemispheres contributes in a special way to the processing of information is quite essential for educators. An instructor, for instance, provides both the text which is the content and the context. The text is processed by the left hemisphere while the context is processed by the right hemisphere. Both of these hemispheres work and at all times. Therefore, teaching the content without providing it with a suitable context applicable to the practical life of the students is in most cases meaningless. This is basically teaching one half and leaving the other. In this erroneous form of teaching curriculum, the learners are denied a chance of seeing the importance of the information in their lives (Wolfe, 2001).

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The information acquired in a learning process will normally be lost if a right context is not accompanied with the content given. Thus, much time is lost when students struggle very hard to memorize a lot of information only to pass the examination but forget it as soon as the examination is over. In most cases, the learners don’t know how or when to use this information. This calls for a proper comprehension of how the right and left cerebral hemispheres function. This will act as a guide on designing curriculum that will both enable students to understand and also have an appropriate use of the information they are taught (Wolfe, 2001).

The damage of either of the hemispheres is a bright illustration of how a learning process or perception of information is negatively affected. In case of damage on the left hemisphere, a learner will copy the design and overall shape of the diagram but will fail to get the details. On the other hand, a damage of the right hemisphere will cause inability to get the overall diagram although the details will be clear. The left hemisphere mainly analyses information and processes it sequentially, that is, arranging the items fed into it from one item to the next. These items are the small detailed form of information learnt locally. On the other hand, the right hemisphere is holistic and simultaneous when processing information. It joins different pieces of information together to form a structure which is coherent to be understood. Thus, it sees the bigger picture and overall wide angle view of information hence its operation is global. When learners are smart, they understand both the small details and larger picture of information at once (Coon & Mitterer, 2008).

There has been an argument that arithmetic is associated with the left brain, which sequentially processes information. The left brain is associated with right-handed learners. This claim has been criticized because it observes that left-handed learners with right brain dominance are mathematically gifted. Equally, it is said that the dominant left hemisphere deals with logic scientific thought and handles mathematics. It also analyses verbal information.

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Also, the parts that control language are said to be in the left hemisphere. The Broca’s area responsible for grammatical processing, Angular gyrus is involved in visual symbol recognition, and Wernicke’s area, which helps to name objects, is also referred to as syntactical processing. This shows that most thinking and reading is in this hemisphere which is an advantage since the education system normally primarily targets the left brain. In contrast, artistic creativity, intuitive form of thought is handled by the right minor hemisphere, which, however, cannot express itself verbally. However, when there is a new and quite stressful situation the preferred or dominant part of the brain is drawn into the action. Therefore, there is no learning information destined to a particular hemisphere, but each has characteristics attributed specifically to each of them. This can work appropriately as guidelines to ensure learning is efficient and fruitful (Learning Style, n.d).

Conclusion

The brain is made up of two main hemispheres, which include the left and the right hemispheres. The left hemisphere is responsible for analytical learning, which involves small details while the right hemisphere is sensitive to holistic random information. The two hemispheres always work together for a learning process to be complete and successful. Neither of the two is more important than the other. The education system is mostly directed to the left brain, which is considered superior.