Unlocking the Learning Style of the Right Brain Learners
Many children have difficulty in school because their learning style does not match the requirements of their classroom teacher and the curriculum. One group of creative, smart learners who may run into trouble in school are the hands-on, visual, holistic learners who can also be referred to as "Right-Brain learners." Might your child fit into this group? This child is usually a very literal, visual, hands-on learner. School, on the other hand, is still geared to the linear thinker and linguistic learner. Students who are global, holistic learners share many characteristics such as
- Having a very poorly developed concept of time. R.B. learners typically have a hard time telling time. They live in the present and find concepts such as "tomorrow, Friday, or next week" meaningless. They lack internal clocks, so they get into trouble for taking too long to get started on a classroom assignment or forget to turn it in when they're finished.
- Difficulty with sequencing. (e.g., do this first, second, third, etc.) Multiple assignments can also be confusing. Difficulty with sequencing may also show up in math, where a student reverses numbers, and in some reading instruction that focuses on word identification, such as phonics.
- Being intuitive learners, which can cause trouble in math classes. R.B. students are often frustrated by math assignments that ask them to describe "how" they arrived at an answer. They get the right answer without being able to explain the process they used. Some teachers view this as a sign that they are not "understanding" the math; in fact, R.B. students are intuitive learners who truly can not explain how they arrive at an answerthey just do.
- Having difficulty concentrating and tuning out surrounding stimuli. As a result, noises and movements that other students are able to tune out may distract R.B. students. R.B. students process information best when they have visual input to supplement orally presented material.
- Being mechanical, artistic, and creative. R.B. students should take classes such as art and drafting. R.B. students also often excel in art, music, and drama.
- Having poor organizational skills and difficulty keeping tabs on papers, books, pencils, rulers, and other materials
- Struggling to master basic skills because R.B. students are holistic learners for whom learning must make sense. Some common areas of frustration are
2. Grammar (and foreign languages)
3. Memorizing math facts, including multiplication tables
4. Understanding fractions
5. Using cursive (much prefer to print)
6. Using standard spellings (write words as they sound
A wonderful book to check out is Jeffrey Freed and Laurie Parsons's Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World. (Simon and Schuster, 1997)
We modify our instruction to accommodate this learning style and students flourish.
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