Ever since I learned about right brain education, I have been trying to make sense of how it works and understand its impact on brain development. Due to a lack of written information available to me at the time, my only source of information has been through word of mouth and this was the understanding I obtained through various sources across the board…
TweedleWink believes that exposing your child to a range of subjects early on achieves two things:
1. When a baby is born, he has the most neurons he will ever have in his life, but there are very few connections between those neurons. As he grows older, he begins to form more connections between the neurons. This occurs because of stimuli from his environment. Initially, there is no preference as to which connections are formed. However, as he grows older, the connections that are used regularly undergo the process of myelination, while those connections that aren’t used are pruned away. It is similar to the way our computers work – when we install too many programs, it slows down our computer. By deleting the old programs we no longer use, we can make our computer run faster.
Exposure to information helps our baby to build neural connections. Continual exposure across a broad range of topics helps to keep the various parts of the brain active and prevent them from being pruned off. An example is in learning languages. A child that learns two languages early will have a better developed language center that facilitates the learning of new languages later in life. A child that only learns one language will still be able to learn a second language later in life, but it will be much harder than it would be for a bilingual child.
2. Exposing your child to many different subjects and various bits of information when young is a little like populating the right brain with a library of information. When your child is older and later exposed to those subjects, the learning becomes easier because he can access the subconscious library he has in his right brain. For instance, they teach children the elements from the periodic table in TweedleWink and Heguru. When these children have to learn the elements again in high school, the learning process is a lot easier because they have already seen the periodic table and can access memories from the subconscious right brain.
If this doesn’t make sense, think about a subject you learned at school. Even if you can’t remember much of it now, I’ll bet if you had to learn it again, it would be much easier the second time around. I often find this to be the case when I’m reading stuff I learned in school. I wonder why it felt so difficult to learn back when I was in school when everything seems so easy now – that’s because I’m seeing it for the second time.
Based on the understanding that I have from Heguru, rapid flash card exposure and all the other right brain development activities you do with a child when young are purely to develop the right brain. It is the activity more than the subject that is important. You can think of it as brain exercise – the more you work the right brain, the stronger it becomes and the easier it is to tap into the right brain potential later in life. Based on this philosophy, it is less about the information you are giving to the child than it is about stimulating the brain.
This is what I’ve understood about right brain education based on conversations I have had with various people. Since then, I’ve discovered the availability of certain books which I feel will be able to provide me with a more complete overview of right brain education which may also correct any misconceptions I have. If you are interested to learn more, here is my reading list:
- Right Brain Education in Infancy: Theory and Practice Theory and Practice – Shichida
- Children Can Change Through Right Brain Education – Shichida
- Right Brain Education: Changing the World, One Heart at a Time – Pamela Hickein
There is also another book available about the right brain which is written by Robert Orstein titled “The Right Mind: Making Sense of the Hemispheres“. It makes reference to the split-brain studies spearheaded by Roger Sperry (who won the nobel prize for his experiments) that revealed the significant differences between the left and right brain. It was Sperry’s research that paved the way for later right brain philosophies such as Tony Buzzan’s Mind Maps, Edward de Bono’s Six Hats of Thinking, and Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences – just to name a few.
As always, I will be back to report my findings so stay tuned.