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Lesson Plans

Re: Left-handedness -Reply

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sat, 1 Feb 1997 00:43:07 -0500 (EST)

It's always interesting to speculate about the idiosyncratic habits of those
around us or of those we teach. I don't really like thinking in terms of
people as having learning disabilities (although a certain amount of
categorizing allows us to help people). I think that the brain is so complex
that we never see all of the variations in ways it can function. I like to
try to figure people out in their own terms rather than label their
differences. I realize this may be a somewhat simplistic viewpoint, but it
leads me to some very interesting learnings.

As a left-handed person, I have also found it easy to do things
backwards and upside down, including spelling backwards as well as reading
upside down with ease. Some of this ability may be spatial rather than
left-handed, though. Left-handed people do have to learn to do most things
backwards (for us) anyway, as we live in a right-handed world, so we develop
skill through
experience. I also do math in a strange way which works quite well for me but
is not standard - more intuitive. My father and daughter seem to have similar
abilities in math.

Shinichi Suzuki, the person who developed the famous Suzuki method of
violin playing, felt that talent increases with experience. Perhaps that
explains partially why there are so many left-handed artists in the first
place, in addition to the left brain-right brain information. The idea that
talent increases with experience is another good argument for teaching
drawing to all children. I know I'm speaking to the choir, but we don't let
people stop studying math just because it's not one of their natural

I love the list. Keep it coming.
Louise King Lanzilotti
Curator of Education
The Contemporary Museum
Honolulu, Hawai'i