Sunday, September 23, 2012

Animate - Divided BrainAre you a left or a right brainer?

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift & the rational mind is a faithful servant." ~ Albert Einstein

In a recent RSAnimate video clip, renowned psychiatrist and writer Iain McGilchrist explains how our 'divided brain' has profoundly altered human behaviour, culture and society.

Dr. McGilchrist claims that our previous notion of the clear division between the functions of the left and the right hemispheres does not stand in reality anymore. Our worship of the left hemisphere (the sound of reasoning, accuracy and details) in today’s world is dangerous and should be rebalanced by allowing the right side of our brain to chime in (beauty, imagination wholeness).

The ultimate Science must have a beauty at its essence. Following formulaic methods does not result in great (or efficient, for that matter) achievements. An artifact must resonate in both hemispheres.

These words resonate well with Sir Ken Robinson’s talk towards inductive reasoning and how often during our education we were forced to believe there is only one answer/solution rather than taking a closer look at other options, or once again seeing the “big picture”.

What is the reason for this complexity? What is the origin of this “big picture”? It comes from the recent realization that our brain is not necessarily linear, rather a web of neurons that are all interconnected and influencing each other (images can be seen here) . This understanding, which resembles the discoveries of food webs (rather than food chains) is beautifully discussed in a recent  lecture by Manuel Lima from Microsoft Bing, who compares the neuronal network to other recently discovered (or created) networks, such as the web of life and the information and social networks.

During our back to school nights we have tried to share with the community our own vision of education at KSA:

  1. The emphasis on balancing the left and right hemisphere, bringing back into the academic life subjects such as art, music and experiential learning and encouraging curiosity, innovation and creativity.
  2. The power of networking - connecting disciplines and subjects while learning, connecting students to work collaboratively (physically or virtually) and connecting teachers to create together.  
  3. Last but not least - eliminating the hierarchy tree and creating a network of teams/task forces among staff and board members that work towards a common goal - growing together from good to great.

We invite you to join our network in any capacity you can - academic, social or professional.

I wish you and your families
GMAR CHATIMA TOVA
Nitzan

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