What is a Right-brained Learner?
The term "right-brained learner" (also called visual-spatial learner) refers to the latest brain research into what functions are controlled by each half of the brain. According to The Visual-Spatial Learner: An Introduction by Linda Kreger Silverman:
The left hemisphere is sequential, analytical, and time-oriented. The right hemisphere perceives the whole, synthesizes, and apprehends movement in space.
Obviously everyone uses both sides of their brain to function, but often one side will be more dominant than the other (I like to think of it as being on a continuum). These differences result in different learning strengths and timetables which greatly affect how a person learns.
Visual-spatial learners are individuals who think in pictures rather than in words. They have a different brain organization than auditory-sequential learners. They learn better visually than auditorally. They learn all-at-once, and when the light bulb goes on, the learning is permanent. They do not learn from repetition and drill. They are whole-part learners who need to see the big picture first before they learn the details. They are non-sequential, which means that they do not learn in the step-by-step manner in which most teachers teach. They arrive at correct solutions without taking steps, so “show your work” may be impossible for them. They may have difficulty with easy tasks, but show amazing ability with difficult, complex tasks. They are systems thinkers who can orchestrate large amounts of information from different domains, but they often miss the details. They tend to be organizationally impaired and unconscious about time. They are often gifted creatively, technologically, mathematically or emotionally.
Most schools and curriculum approach learning in a very sequential, left-brained manner and use timetables that do not match with the normal development of the right-brained learner. Learning more about the natural strengths and having accurate develomental expectations of your right-brained learner will help reduce frustration (for both of you) while also helping your child learn in a way that makes sense to him.