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Lesson Plans

Re: left/right...front/back

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
craig roland (rol1851.EDU)
Fri, 31 Jan 1997 12:24:26 -0500

Lily wrote:

>...snip.......Anyway, these lefties (who are only a small
>percentage), as I understand it, have been shown to use the right
>hemisphere for logical thought and the left hemisphere for their creative
>thinking. My simple experimenting would seem to indicate that this is
>the case and that the handwriting position is a fairly reliable indicator.
>It would be interesting to know which brain organization all the truly
>creative lefties through the centuries have possessed.

All this talk of left/right brain stuff has rekindled some memories and
thoughts in my mind...

Yes, there are differences in the ways left and right handers use their
brains and this pattern has been tied to writing position. The "twisted"
position you speak of in left-handers is called "inverted" and there are
some right handers who do this as well. Jerry Levy of Chicago (who worked
on the original split brain research) wrote an article on this many years
ago. She also wrote a piece in which she questioned the "craze" in
education that went on in the early 80s (and apparently is still popular
today) in which certain curriculum theories and practices were said to
develop/use only certain parts of the brain.

I became interested in the writing position study because I am a
left-hander myself and sometimes I write in the "normal" position sometimes
in the "inverted" position. Does this mean I use different parts of my
brain when doing so? I'm still not sure.

As I recall, Levy argued that is somewhat simplistic to suggest, for
example, that people are only using their right brain when they draw or
engage in certain visual/creative activities. There is ample support for
this view. e.g., Studies have shown that the drawings of artists who
suffer lesions to their left hemipshere are distorted and contain fewer
details. (Michael Youngblood wrote on this topic in Art Education and
Studies in Art Education back in the 80s.) Also, would anyone here argue
that the creative process is all intuitive and that's there is no
critical/analytical thinking (an assumed "left" brain function) involved?

More recently, there have been some interesting studies which show how the
front and back of the brain come into play during visual and creative
activities. Thus, I think we need to think about the "whole" brain when we
consider what impact our instruction has on kids and their brains.

Of all the things I've lost over the years...I miss my mind the most.


CRAIG ROLAND. Associate Professor-Art Education.
Department of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville Florida.
32611-5801. (352) 392-9165 - Art Ed Office (352) 392-8453 - Fax