The brain and learning, what do these two things have in common. The different sides of the brain control different ways of thinking and learning. The left side of the brain controls logical and sequential learning (Hopper, 2012). The right side of the brain controls a more visual way of learning (Hopper, 2012). While these go hand in hand with the three learning styles, there are still some myths that go along with neuroscience and education.
There are five myths that go along with neuroscience and education. These myths are the opinion of the author who is Jennifer M. Worden. Myth number one, "The brain is irrelevant in learning" (Worden, 2011, p.9). Education researchers often are able to study the what but with neuroscience and cognitive psychology these researchers are able to get the why and how (Worden, 2011). Researching the brain may not be able to tell teachers how to teach but understanding the brain can lead to uncovering underlying learning mechanisms (Worden, 2011). Myth number two, "Neuroscientists know it all, and teachers don't understand research" (Worden, 2011, p. 10). There is an imaginary divide amongst researchers and educators (Worden, 2011). While there are some communication difficulties between neuroscientists and educators are not included in the research (Worden, 2001). These issues can be fixed by involving both parties into the research process. In this writers opinion setting up a study that would allow educators to tell the researchers what would be beneficial to the classroom. Myth Number three, "Johnny is right brained and that is why. . . ." (Worden, 2011, p. 10). Everyone uses their whole brain to learn (Worden, 2011). However there is spilt in the brain where the left hemisphere is more dominant with speech functions (Worden, 2011). All complex learning tasks require both sides of the brain in order to learn the complex tasks (Worden, 2011). The fourth
myth is, "Everyone knows you can't learn a language after age __" (Worden, 2011 p. 11). This myth goes along with the neuromyth of critical period (Worden, 2011). Critical period is a myth that says the human body does not produce the stimuli for academic learning (Worden, 2011). There is no evidence that point exists like it does for eye site (Worden, 2011). The final myth is, "Girls are better at reading, but boys dominate math and science" (Worden, 2011 p. 12). There is no evidence that gender has to do with any kind of learning (Worden, 2011). Gender plays no role on what the individual is going to be able to learn or what their strengths and weaknesses are (Worden, 2011). In conclusion to these myths researchers need to become better at dispersing the findings to the public (Worden, 2011). Teachers and parents need to arm themselves with knowledge on these topics so they will not succumb to these and other neuromyths (Worden, 2011). In this writers opinion if researchers and educators do not communicate and find an equal research field then there will always be false information and neuromyths that the local populace will believe and the education will continue to fail because of the lack of communication.
The hemispheres work coherently in order to provide a successful learning process. When learning something new, difficult or stressful the individual person's brain will prefer a certain way of learning. Each side of the brain will have a stronger set of traits and processing styles than the other. According to Hopper (2012) she outlines six different processing styles and compares them between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. The left side of the brain takes pieces lines them up and then draws a conclusion based of those pieces (Hopper, 2012). A right brained person looks at the whole picture first then picks out the details (Hopper, 2012). This is called Holistic processing and the left side learning is called Linear (Hopper, 2012). Sequential and Random processing are the next set of traits to be compared. Sequential is a left brained person activity. These people may enjoy making a list of task that need to be
accomplished throughout the day or conduct daily planning and organize the task in a priority order to get them accomplished (Hopper, 2012). A right brained person may jump from task to task and accomplish the same amount of work without having a list or have the task in order in priority (Hopper, 2012). A right brained person wants things to be concrete (Hopper, 2012). They want to be able to feel or touch the real object (Hopper, 2012). The left brained person is able to process symbols like letters, words and mathematical equations much easier than a right brained person (Hopper, 2012). These two processing styles are known as symbolic and concrete processing (Hopper, 2012). Logical and Intuitive processing styles are next up (Hopper, 2012). Logical processing is dominantly a left hemisphere activity. During logical processing the person will process information piece by piece by until they are able to draw a logical conclusion (Hopper, 2012). Intuitive processing is conducted primarily in the right hemisphere. During the processing style the person uses intuition to make decisions they go off of if it feels right it probably is (Hopper, 2012). A right brained individual is going to be more apt to a Non-verbal processing style (Hopper, 2012). These individuals would have difficulty expressing themselves through words (Hopper, 2012). A left brained individual is more apt to a Verbal processing style (Hopper, 2012). These individuals would be able to express themselves easier through the use of words (Hopper, 2012). These two processing styles are known as Verbal and Non-Verbal processing (Hopper, 2012). The final processing styles are Reality - Based and Fantasy - Orientated. A left brained individual is going to be Reality - Based processing. What is meant by this is that a left brained person's environment is changing or has changed the person will adapt and adjust to the changing environment (Hopper, 2012). They will also want to know the rules and standards so they can abide by them (Hopper, 2012). A right brained individual is going to be Fantasy - Orientated. When a right brained person's
environment changes they are going to want to change their environment and not themselves (Hopper, 2012). With right brained students it is important to ask for professor feedback in order to maintain a grip on reality and to make sure the student is still on the right track (Hopper, 2012).
In conclusion there are several myths out there on the brain and learning. Depending on whose research is read and the stance of the reader is going to dictate on what the myths are and what is factual. In this readers opinion there is a cerebral dominance and each hemisphere is in control of certain learning function and processing. Also when the brain is stressed it will revert to a more natural way of processing with side being a little more dominant than the other. Brain research confirms that both sides are used in every brain activity to include learning (Morris, 2006).