Early Learning: for & against
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Early childhood: The Genius State
Learning with the left brain requires conscious effort; right-brain learning happens subconsciously, and so effortlessly. In small children, the right brain is already activated - which helps explain how children soak up information like sponges. In small children (and savants and geniuses), the right brain is activated because it is dominant. This is because the right hemisphere of the brain develops before the left, remaining dominant until the age of three and a half.
As the brain gradually shifts from right- to left-hemisphere dominance, right-brain teaching will increasingly need to follow on from deep relaxation and visualization. These techniques enable students to enter an alpha wave or absorbent state, which is highly compatible with right-brain learning. This is the state genius babies are naturally in!
If you find the idea of a genius or savant in everyone far-fetched, consider the following study by the University of Sydney's Centre for the Mind. Director Allan Snyder uses harmless magnetic stimulation to temporarily switch off the left hemisphere of his brains - thereby unlocking savant-like abilities. In the minutes after receiving the stimulation, subjects perform measurably better at tasks such as drawing a picture from memory, or guessing a large number of dots flashed up on a computer screen.
Whereas Snyder was able only to temporarily elicit these special abilities, right-brain educators aim to enable the genius baby to retain her right-brain talents as she gets older. While grown-up Doman and Shichida children may no longer be able to perceive quantity, some do retain the ability to mentally solve mathematical equations of a complexity that would require most people to use a calculator.
Now that you understand the basics of right-brain learning, you can find out more about the Doman and Shichida programs. You can also discover how to teach your own genius baby reading or math at home using right-brain techniques.