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Right Brain Development - What the Hype is All About

In the last few years, one concept which has come up really fast, and appears to have taken deep roots in the early years learning methodologies everywhere, is Right Brain Development. Either your child's preschool is offering it, or your friend's child's school is, or you have heard or read about it in different forums. At our preschool in Gurgaon, we have had parents enquiring on whether we do right brain development activities.

So the question is, what is right brain development, and why is there so much of hype surrounding it?

The concept actually first came into picture with the work of Nobel laureate Roger Sperry, who discovered that the human brain is made up of two parts - left and right, and that both these parts of the brain handled specific functions. The left side of the brain handles language, facts, processes data at a slower speed, and works on the conscious. The right side of the brain works on the subconscious, handles the sensory, visual and spatial perception aspects, and processes data at a fast pace. One interpretation of this is that the left side of the brain works on the more logical aspects of our being, whereas the right side of the brain works on the more intuitive and creative part of the being.

This is not to say that people are either left brained or right brained. In all of us, both sides of the brain work in tandem to produce most of the results. However, one part may dominate more than the other. This may lead to some of us exhibiting traits which are more logical in nature - say we are good with maths, or good with puzzles and so on - and some of us exhibiting traits which are more creative in nature - we are good with art, or music and so on.

Why the Current Focus on Right Brain Development

Conventionally, our learning methodologies have focused on what may be called concrete concepts. At the early learning stage, focus has been on alphabet, number, colour and shape. In school, focus has been on learning concepts and following a single approach to answer examination questions. When we go to work, focus has been on ensuring that work is completed as per set templates. This is how the majority of us function. This does not mean that the right part of our brains do not work, it simply means that for the most part, our training focuses on working the left part of the brain.

For some of us, this may well be the dominant part of the brain, for the some of us, we may be curbing the natural instincts of the right side of our brain. 

As we have matured as generations, as times have changed, we have now figured out that this is not the be all and end all of our lives. As more avenues have opened up, there is a wide range of skillsets which may be required, not all of them focusing on the logical and the analytical part of the brain. We have also figured out that even though the logical and analytical part of our lives may dominate our careers, we always can have another part of our lives which can focus on another, more creative set of activities and interests. 

And as parents and educators, we have also figured out, that the more we open up our minds, and those of our children, to different kinds of activities, the more we train the brain to take in a variety of stimuli, the more we are empowering ourselves and our children. When we are exposing our children to different sets of activities, providing them with stimuli to challenge both parts of the brain, we are actually also training them to use their brains in a more holistic manner, and giving them skills which they can learn to use even subconsciously.

What we do at Morning Glorie, Preschool in Gurgaon

At Morning Glorie, we believe in following a balanced brain approached. Our activities are therefore designed in a manner that stimuli is given to both parts of the brain. We focus on the concrete concepts, let children explore their creative side, and at the same time also actively engage them in activities which work on recall, problem solving and processing information at a fast pace, which helps use and train the right side of the brain. Some examples of these activities include recall through the use of sequences and processing visual data given at a very fast pace.

Right and left brain activities must go in tandem. Focusing on right brain does not mean that there is no focus on the left brain. It also does not mean that all people will process different stimuli in the same manner. We all are unique, and that must be respected. The idea is that our future generation should have the option for choosing for themselves, and that can only happen when they are exposed to more, not less. 

Next Up - Story Telling for Recall and Right Brain Development


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