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Monday, March 15, 2010

If we treated left brained children like we do right brained children

Thank the gods that we live in a world with a variety of people. We need all of us to muddle through. I, for one, am grateful for the presence of those who are able to easily keep accounts, and even enjoy the process. I wish though that the processes and skills of right brained people were as appreciated, especially in the years of childhood. Too bad the world in general, and schools in particular, are currently dominated by the left brained mentality.

What if it wasn't? What if right brained processes were more valued? What if children were made to feel bad if they couldn't draw or make music? What if the inability to write and tell a good story was an obstacle to success? What if not visualizing in 3D was considered a learning disability? What if we had remedial creativity classes? What if the delayed learning of creative skills such as playing an instrument, singing, drawing, fiction writing, designing, etc. were emphasized at an early age? Would we improve the overall creativity of these poor people?

I think we can teach creativity. It's true that for these creativity disabled children, creativity may always be a struggle, but it's important to make sure that they are well balanced and able to be creative as adults. If we don't start now, it will only be more difficult for them as they get older. Imagine not being able to perform with an ensemble as an adult. Imagine the shame in needing a camera to make pictures, to record feelings, rather than being able to draw and paint original pieces. Imagine the inability to tell an original story. We can all understand the financial hardship that would be caused by not being able to create innovative products and business models. Such a life might well be said to be hardly worth living.

In fact, there are many techniques for helping the creativity disabled to exercise their weak creativity. Brainstorming techniques can be taught and practiced, improving many aspects of creative writing. Extra instrument practice, as well as more time with composition instruction, will improve their musicality. Remedial art classes, including visualizing and identifying color gradations, can help improve the artistic abilities of these slower children.

It's true that there are some children so disabled that they will never compose a truly unique piece of music of any real quality. There will always be some so challenged that their inability to write a story will never be remediated. Not every child can be an artist. But all can be taught to achieve a certain baseline level of technique. Many of these children are just slow to develop and access their right brained abilities. Given time and remediation many will achieve a basic skills. In time, with our help, I believe many of these kids will straighten out.

Luckily, for those who are unable to learn creativity, there are some jobs still available to the disabled. Even so, we must never give up trying to correct and improve their deficiencies. Much research is being done and new treatments will soon be available that will allow even more disabled children to achieve creativity.


Janelle said...

Nice...well said! From a mother of a RB and proud of it.

Carlson said...

I have often thought the same thing! Well said and so very true :) Thanks for posting.

~Karen said...

April, you rock! I love this article. Maybe it will help a few more people see the amazing spectrum of learners that are out there and how we would all be better off by valuing all kinds of aptitudes and talents and not just the ones currently in vogue.