What do YOU want out of Education? Receive a FREE IPOD with every answer

By H Mac Wooten

Oh my gosh people,  I really apologize.  My only explanation is …  this was just some crazy typo / printing error thingy or something??  We have no Ipods to give away!  I actually hit the Proofread Writing Button above and it didn’t catch the error either!   OOOOPS  Sorry!

School systems (over the ages) seem to have some ideas about this topic as they teach (or attempt) to teach standard curriculum.  It also seems that school systems place more importance today on teaching how to take tests.   Quite possible the 3 R’s have or in some cases this needs to be replaced with the 6 R’s (place the word remedial  in front of the old 3 R’s).  As researchers have learned over the last 50 years or so about how, when and why children learn, content has been added and deleted during different periods of their human and physical development while in school.  I’m not sure what was going on with me during early development, but now I find I know less and less about everything I thought I knew more and more!  Please don’t take this as a complaint, quite the contrary, it causes and gives me drive to learn more and more now.

Maria …. I just met a girl named Maria       In the early 1900’s Maria Montessori hit a home run for education.   Her

OOOPS Wrong Maria!

observations  of children and how they learned regarding their natural psychological development led her to a better understanding and a comprehensive model of psychological development from birth to later years.  Even she knew at that time, when you reach your teenage years …. you already know everything.   She recognized the different developmental stages (0-3 yrs)  (3- 6 yrs)  (6-12 yrs)   see …. it stops when kids hit the teenage years!  She, however, didn’t understand the why part  of the development of the human brain …. as we are still uncovering more of those mysteries today.  After about age 10, the vocabulary and grammar parts of the brain are mostly finished growing, and the thinking parts of the brain in the frontal lobe continues growing, building upon the foundation of grammar and vocabulary learned in childhood.

Left Brain –  Right Brain   Each side of our brain controls certain functions of our behavior.  Sometimes the No-Brain part controls certain aspects of my behavior!  Well, I’m glad you apparently can laugh about that!   Some of the current  scientific research  reveals that we use less than 1% of the available power of our brain.  Some research reveals that we only make about 15% of our decisions consciously.  The remaining 85% is done subconsciously.   Using our whole brain or accessing more of the 85% would allow us as human beings to do far more or at the least make better decisions.

Left The left (hemisphere) of the brain tends to function by processing information in an analytically, rational, logical, sequential way.  Computer programmers really tap into their left brain to write computer programs.   This hemisphere is responsible for arranging words, concepts and memories into patterns.   The left brain senses the right side of the body and vice versa.   Haven’t you ever heard that a left-handed person is the only person in their right mind? 

Right  The right brain (hemisphere) tends to be responsible for recognizing relationships, integrating and synthesizing information, and arriving at our intuitive insights.  It’s the creative, touchy-feeley, imaginative, emotional part.  People with musical talent draw upon their right brain for those skills.  Next time you fly through the Atlanta Airport, go find the Piano Bar in the mezzanine and take a few minutes to appreciate the very right-minded and musically gifted woman playing the grand piano.  Notice how she plays a wide variety of music, complex chord changes as she  so effortlessly looks around the room at the faces  as she shares her gift with the crowd.  Conversely, she can’t find her car keys, the next morning, forgot to plug in her cell phone and forgot where she left her coat when she got home.   But … she dreamed about music during the night.   Damn better than the dream where you’re naked in public and trying unsuccessfully to hide from the people watching you!      Leave her a good tip and tell her “Mack the Knife” said hello!
It is vital to recognize your thinking patterns and be cognicent of these patterns’ strengths and weaknesses in dealing with everyday  information.   If you are a right-brain dominant,  you must appreciate the usefulness of left-brain thinking and  the need to pause and pay attention to planning and organizing information.   If you are a left-brain dominant, you benefit by allowing right-brain input into your methodical approach to making better decisions.  By effectively utilizing both sides of the brain thinking processes, you can shift from one thinking process to another as the situation warrants. For example, right-brain thinking can be used to creatively develop (dream up some harebrained scheme)  an idea.   Left-brain thinking can be used to analyze the idea and implement it.  When the problem has been analyzed, right-brain comes up with different possibilities to try.

Everyone learns differently.  Learning is part visual, auditory and other components.  Some people learn by seeing, some people learn by hearing, some people learn by doing and the rest of us learn by peeing on the electric fence!  Just a thought …..   be very cautious if you see the school installing electric fences.

What most of us want from education is not wisdom per se, but the opportunity and tools to gain wisdom and the knowledge to understanding the importance in continuing to learn.   Wisdom will come with that knowledge.  Yep ….. now I’m confused!

Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.       Mohandas Gandhi

Teach a Teacher and our Volunteers provide Professional Development and help teach basic teaching skills to    Teachers here in Peru.   Please visit us at www.teachateacher.org and www.teachateacher.wordpress.com and at teachateacher on Facebook.

Just for fun here’s a cool website to analyze if you’re left brained or right-brained!  http://mindmedia.com/braintest.html

A great website to learn more about Left Brain Right Brain Stuff is …  http://hiddentalents.org/index.htm

Mac Wooten is President of Teach a Teacher nonprofit.  A native of Greenville S.C. We live and focus most of our  work in the Ancash region of Peru.

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