Thirteen years ago in the spring of 1994, I was driving on Route 80 somewhere west of Cheyenne on my monthly jaunt from the Air Force Academy (a place where I did not like to be) to the warmth of Palo Alto CA (where I loved being). I had to go back and forth between Colorado Springs and California because of some work I was doing on the bio-effects of high energy laser pulses (the reason why soldiers in the battlefield have to wear laser light-filtered goggles). As I enjoyed the beauty of the Wyoming terrain I found myself listening to an interview of Thomas West about his new book entitled “In the Mind’s Eye” about visual thinkers, people with dyslexia and other learning difficulties.
I was so captivated by the discussion that I could not shed these thoughts for the remaining 20 hours of the trip and I read his book while sitting in the Printers Inc, my favorite coffee house in Palo Alto. If mothers or fathers want to know what might be possible for their struggling children (in school), they might get a feel for what to do and what might be possible by reading this book (if anyone wants my copy, stop by).
The author was talking about the role of the two sides of the brain in learning and creative thinking, sometimes referred to as ‘left-brain’ and ‘right-brain’ dominance in ‘learning’ or ‘thinking’. I prefer to speak about this concept using these phrases metaphorically because I am in no way a neurophysiologist, nor do I have any real expertise in learning theory. The only expertise that I have is my own experience and observations in life. But for sure, hearing someone talk about left-brain learning (or ‘textual thinking’) versus right-brain learning (or ‘visual thinking’), helped me to answer some long-standing questions about myself and my family. West was saying that a majority or people emphasize the left brain in their learning process while the right-brain learners struggle in their youth to learn. This is because historically teaching in schools was geared more to left-brain learners rather than those whose right-brain skills were more developed or dominant. Read the rest of this entry »