Two Practices You Don’t Need For Learning
One of the most annoying things about being a teacher in this decade is how quickly things change. On the flip side, one of the most exhilarating things about being a teacher in this decade is how quickly things change. By now, if you homeschool or teach for a district or private school, you already have pre-planned days just for learning more and making lesson plans. Right? Please add to your list to remove learning style quizzes and right brain/left brain emphasis.
2 Left brain and Right Brain Myths
- You only use 10%
2. You are either one or the other
It is time to unlearn some of these old and outdated approaches. It not only limits our instructional capacity, but is also minimizes our capacity to set rigorous and higher expectations for ourselves and other learners. The brain, in its entirety, is critical for our daily functioning and ability to learn. Even when it is at rest, the brain maintains all of our functions. This is by default already more than 10% usage.
For activities that we like to sort into logical or artistic, left or right, we incorrectly believe that they happen on only one hemisphere. In reality, components of skills can occur on opposing sides of the brain. Math that is memorized happens on one side (think multiplication facts) and making estimates happen on the other side. Rest assured, it is more beneficial to promote growth mindset and recognize that you really and truly can use your whole brain and develop it all. This currently caused me to rethink some of my teaching strategies.
Learning styles is a type of “get to know you” exercise I previously used with my classes. Adults and adolescents. The goal was to uncover how each student would interpret, gather or draw conclusions about what they were learning. This was flat out described as a misinterpretation of research and data. Who knew?
The most powerful replacement for the left/right brain and learning style practices is Reinforcement Learning with reward prediction error. This is what our brain does naturally and it is a much better fit into segments of…