Rognvald wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:22 pm
I never said that all people are Left or Right-brained but rather that there are some people who are and it is easily recognizable to those who have social interactions with these people. There are many fortunate people, like yourself, who have advanced abilities-- both Left and Right brained and it is definitely an evolutionary advantage. For myself, although functional in the Sciences, I am a Left-Brained thinker and could never excel in the Hard Sciences as those with Right Brained capabilities. So, I agree with everything you have said and just wanted to clarify my thoughts since there was some confusion as to what I wrote. As a final remark, I think it is important for schools to identify these traits in young people to better shape the direction in life in which they will be most successful. I can assure you, I could never have been a matriculated student in Physics or Math but I have been an accomplished writer and musician throughout my life. Playing again . . . Rognvald
Ok, thanks for that clarification.
As for schools identifying such traits.... I suppose that it depends on what you believe the purpose of education is. There are several schools of thought (pun intended). In Europe, they have a test that sorts out those who are destined for University and those who will be put on a track for apprenticeships in trades. This test takes place in the very early teen years. In the US, the assumption is that all are college bound unless they self select in high school to avoid the more advanced courses or are unable to do the work. To me, it seems the point of education in the European mode is to find what the student does well, aim them in that direction, and the result is someone who fits into the appropriate niche in society. Some have little choice what they will do in life, but they will "know their place" in society with some assurance. The US model seems to be an attempt to encourage all students to develop to their full potential, which is unknown at the beginning of the teen years because they have not finished their development. This means that they do not choose a specialty until they are 20 years of age. They have more time to gain facility at a variety task types before deciding their life's work. The decision is not made for them....they are free to choose. And they are free to be aimless and clueless members of society if they cannot decide what they are good at. If you believe that the point of education is to prepare a person for a particular role in society, one might choose the European model. If you believe that the point of education is to aid in the total development of each child to achieve their full unknown potential as a human being you might choose the US model. I will not say that one method is better than the other, only that each society makes choices about what they want to achieve when they educate their young.
In speaking recently to a young woman attending the University in my town, we discussed how she was dealing with different challenges in the curriculum. She told me that she was good in some areas and enjoyed those tasks a lot. She recognized that it might be because in her childhood she got the most positive feedback and recognition from parents and teachers for doing those things well. For those things she did not already do well, she found it difficult to have the motivation to do them, even though they were required by her degree program. From my viewpoint of 62 years, I told her that life was full of things one had to do and you might not know how to do them well in the beginning, but with practice might gain some competency at doing them and that would be very useful indeed. Also that one had to develop the "internal reward" for doing something that does not come easily to you and that as an adult, you will rarely be rewarded or recognized by anyone for completing a necessary task whether you are good at it or not. She admitted that she still had to learn how to do this. I had the feeling when I spoke to her that she was newly introspective and being new to having to work this out for herself.
I remember well the extreme pleasure of doing the tasks that I most liked when I was her age. I also remember taking pride in doing things that people said I had "no talent" for....just to prove to myself that I could do it if I wished. I did not think I would be "the best" at these tasks...but I would do them to the best of my ability and be at least competent in doing them. So as an Art student, I took an Electrical Engineering lab that I thought looked interesting
, I took an Astronomy class and an Anthropology class. None of the other Art students in my class did this sort of thing. They said to me, "Oh...I'm not good at Science..." Meanwhile, in my Science classes, the students would say, "Oh, I can't even draw a straight line...I can't do Art." They were told from a young age what they were "good at" and perhaps it was true, but they never explored those fields they were "not good at". They admitted as much to me. After I graduated from Art School, when I told my own Father that I was going to study Astrophysics, he said... "Some people are good at Science...and some people are good at Art.... I think you are good at Art." I vowed to myself that I would succeed...(and I did!) because I liked both fields, Art *and* Science. One always informed the other. I loved the study of the natural world.
Acute observation...necessary in both Science and in the visual Arts. Acute observation...necessary in music, too. Listening to what sound you are producing and deciding if that is exactly what you wanted in order to create your soundscape. Hearing the simple song and finding the beauty in its simplicity. The same as finding the exact lines your eye craves to see to form the exact image you wished to create in your drawing. The same as finding just the right materials, proportions, properties to create the instrument you need to observe a natural phenomenon. To me, using all of the knowledge and skills I have and bringing them together (no matter what the field of endeavor) to create something of beauty and elegance is one of the most rewarding things in life.
I have a wonderful music teacher....weekly, he teaches me how to listen to the music. How to observe with my ears. Again, acute observation in action. I hear it when he points something out to me, but it was something I missed previously. This is the development stage, when education is helping you to achieve your full potential. Perhaps I was born with ability to do this, but it has lain dormant until education (and motivation) has aided the development. For people to play a simple song beautifully, they have to know what "beauty" is and they have to know enough about producing the sound on their instrument to paint that soundscape for others.
When the sun shines, bask.
Classical Guitar forever!