Part of the education problem is that we live in a culture filled with self-doubt and lack of confidence. That’s undermining–especially to parents. Progressive parents can engage creative programs full throttle, and yet even they screech the brakes when standardized testing looms over head. The announcement of those tests is paralyzing. The same parents who rally for PTA funding for arts and cultural programs shift their energies to finding tutors to make sure their kids pass upcoming tests with flying colors. And then the right brain momentum fades away. They don’t have the wherewithal to let the right brain and left brain co-exist. We’ve got an identity crisis going. Do we really want to be Tiger parents? Should we want to?
For parents, the evidence that right brain is the key to a life well lived is non-existent. We qualify success by numbers. If we can’t quantify a theory, its validity is lost. We all succumb to that flaw. It’s distractingly evident in our own advertising culture. We ask questions of qualitative concepts like ‘Can you quantify that?’ ‘What does the data say?’ We judge creative directors by the number of awards they win. Websites are measured by their number of hits. Listening tools read for the number of times a brand is cited. We don’t promote change. We promote numbers. What we really need to be judging is long-term impact.
We can’t teach impact to kids when they are siloed away from their futures. That gap needs to close. Synergies need to be built that engage students early on. They should be allowed to forge bonds, collaborate and engage a range of mentors and peers in and out of school. Yes, there are field trips; there are class visitors; there are penpals. But kids too need a sustainable network–a better grid that connects their learning with the real world and empowers them to leverage their curiosity. That’s how you fight to be a right brain person. Or, better yet, that’s how the fight to use the whole brain begins.
How to make right brain/left brain evolve in education has been twisting our own brains over the years at scenarioDNA…thanks for creating a forum! Okay, back to work on fleshing this out.
- Marie Lena Tupot Partner, scenarioDNA
- Tim Stock, Partner, scenarioDNA