"Intellectual distinction is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for election to a Rhodes Scholarship. Selection committees are charged to seek excellence in qualities of mind and in qualities of person which, in combination, offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead. The Rhodes Scholarships, in short, are investments in individuals rather than in project proposals..."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Learning to Mastery


First of all, my apologies for my long absence.   I've been working on a presentation called "The Motivation Myth" that I will be doing for a homeschool group on April 20.  After reading about fifteen different books, I've put together a presentation that talks not only about Motivation, but also Mindset, Mentoring and Methodology.  Sorry.  I couldn't think of any other M to go with that other than Methodology.  That section is about ways to inspire.

If that wasn't enough, I've been doing research about right-brain learning and how the brain works in general.  I'm particularly interested in how right-brain learners have difficulty memorizing things. I'm trying to bridge the gap between what I know is required in a Classical education and that which right brain learners are capable of doing.  They don't match up.  So, I've been doing a tremendous amount of research on memorization.  Not just regular memorization, but memorization to mastery.  I'm especially keyed up about it since recent studies on the brain show how important memorization is for our kids.  Books like The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle, Brain Rules by John Medina and The Genius in All of Us by David Shenk all support how very important memory work is for everyone.  And then other books like Right-Brained Child in a Left-Brain World, Upside-Down Brilliance, Teaching for Two Sides of the Mind and The Gift of Dyslexia say how hard it is for right-brained kids to remember things, especially words for which it is difficult to find a picture.  So, for my right-brained kids at home, I'm trying to bridge that gap. I was a very strong right-brained learner in elementary school.  School trained it out of me.  I now test as a whole-brain learner, which means I don't have a side preference any more.

Do you have a struggling learner?  One who has trouble with things like reading, memorizing, attention?  Chances are they aren't struggling.  They are just right-brained.   I'll be writing a lot more about right-brained learning next week once my deadline is over for my next talk as well as the Jesuit method of memorization.


RealMom4Life said...

soooooo interested in this myself. I will be anxiously waiting to hear what you figure out (OK - I have until aug. or so :) )

We love our classical curriculum too but have a very right brain child heading into 9th grade. I was originally planning to drop the classical with him but after talking to dh we decided it would be best to pursue it but potentially modify it. That's why I'm interested to see what you come up with. Is your talk local? If so, could you email me the info if you don't want it posted here? thanks

Carol said...

Cathie, which of these books has wound up being most helpful in understanding left/right brain? I know this is an old post, but this is something I want to investigate for my 7th grader. Thanks!

The Road Scholar said...

So sorry for the late reply. These are my favorite two:
Right-Brained Child in a Left-Brain World, Upside-Down Brilliance

Upside-Down Brilliance is super expensive, as in more than $50 because it is out of print and so good. So, just be aware.