Friday, June 25, 2010

W H Y O N L Y T H E L E F T B R A I N?

Back in time when I was in school I was often told to work up on my mathematics as it was really poor and still is. I tried my level best to do but in vain. Having a keen interest in arts and painting especially, my mind always worked in that direction and I was always told that it will always be a hobby and ‘Art’ cannot be ever looked up as a career. I often wondered what this word career meant. It was very early in school that I realized that the education system was never for me or for many others who thought the same way. My parents did agree with me but we had no way out. I had no choice but to complete those 10 years of ‘mugging-up’ education. School life is always fun, no doubt but the ‘education’ half is not something that was never interesting for me.

Our right side of the brain is the creative, intuitive side of us while the left is more analytical, rational and technical as we say. I feel in our education system, the left side of the brain was always stressed upon and given more importance. We were always made to believe that being a topper in class meant scoring highest marks in science and mathematics, and art was something which could not go beyond local art competitions that were held twice a year. Maths and science was taught everyday sometimes twice a day and the so called art class was once a week. Art class was a place for recreation for those who were not interested in it and for those who were, a topic was given or something on the good old black board was to be ‘COPIED’ exactly the way it was.

I think if one is talking about serious education then it should rather be like I recently saw in Auroville, where knowledge is nothing but a beautiful and interactive way of learning. Very practical and precise. I recently heard about something called ‘home- schooling’. Why not? As long one is learning and also doing things one wants to with equal interest. When I spoke to some students who have home-schooled, I found that they are much more ‘knowledgeable’ than ‘us’ who have completed 10 or 12 years of formal education. This is because they were exposed to all the things around them whether it was math’s, science, social-sciences, sports or arts. The freedom a child needs when he grows has to be given to him.

Having been a a part of a school for 'special children' I have always observed that children of any age group, know their capacities. They have certain dreams for themselves which they want to fulfill. They are very aware of what is happening around them and know which is the right time to do so. they know the exact time to explore their hidden talents. But all this happens only when he/she is given the right kind of freedom.

For me any person who thinks and has an opinion of himself is intelligent. Expressing oneself in the right way, being very aware about what is happening around us, connecting to the world, knowing our past and interpreting the future is knowledge. Then let every individual do it the way he/she wants to. If math’s could be taught through some creative ideas then why not? If someone is terrible with sciences but has a flair for writing then why not give that extra effort or support? I believe that there are far more technicalities involved in arts or any form of it because you are interpreting some things around you in your own way. It has no formula or steps to be followed. It has steps which you will create and others might follow.

I would like to share this post to all the young parents and teachers who are on the verge of sending their children to schools.


  1. well said...its so our education system, a lot more is stressed upon the mugging up of concepts rather than the application of concepts( which is more important in today's world).

  2. i like it but i disagree on some stuff!! thing is not everyone is talented enough for arts! arts is more about talent than science! like you said science has steps and all so everyone can grasp them by hardwork! but art requires talent which many of us are not born with!we may like to paint and draw but the point is are we good enough for it?! do we have that kinda of talent?! are we cut out for arts?! that's why majority opt for science!

  3. thats the biigest MISCONCEPTION one has about the arts. all kinds and genres of it. well it has nothing to do with talent. for example i was taught painting when i was in 3rd standard of schooling whereas when i went to the design school, i realized many students did not have a liking towards painting and sketching but when they were taught sketching, trust me some of them did it even better than the faculty. if sciences were taught with so much importance then why not arts ? why give it a secondary status when it practically as important?

  4. qgreed!!!arts is not given the importance as it should have been given...unfortunately...

  5. beacuase arts is more related to pleasure and science more practical! tell me gaurav what is more useful to you a camera, mobile phoneetc or a painting,watching a movie?! these are things of pleasure and thus secondary importance is given.and i totally disagree. you have to have a flair for painting, sketching to be good enough and to survive with the competition. my drawing used to always be pathetic in school and how much ever i tried it just did not be nice for me. i used to detest drawing like the way you hate maths. take acting for example you have to some talent in you to become a good actor. fine you get a movie and you acted in a movie but that does not mean you are good at acting. you do need talent for that which some of it is inborn. and you really cannot say arts is not given importance. paintings are sold for lakhs and crores, entertainment like movies spend crores on making if we did not aprreciate arts why are we spending so much on them?! and whatever we are taught in school till 10th is basic. you cannot do without knowing that much of basic science and maths. peopel who formed the education system were not fools you know. the problem does not lie with the education system, it lies with how arts is perceived by people. if you want arts to gain more importance you have to change that. and for children who are inclined towards arts, they know it within themselves. it somewhere comes naturally. but they have to learn other things in life to be successful. and there are always drawing and painting classes and competitons taking place. parents have to be encouraged to send their children to these places to nurture the talent. i don't think schools can do much about it. if you want more art classes in school, then even the sports people will want more games classes giving the same reason. but it is very difficult for the schools to balance everthing. and that's why you have less art classes and games classes coz there are ways other than schools to discover your passion for this. science has to be taught to everyone because of its practicallity and usefulness in life.

  6. Well, if you are talking of teaching practicality through science and especially through what is taught in the schools, I totally disagree. The science taught in schools is just about mugging just mug up for the exams.True there are students who learn by themselves, get practical education. But not all students have that willingness to do. You have to inculcate in them. And our schools have just failed in it. Their main objective is to complete the course.
    And true that the school needs to have a balance in everything. But then I dont think they are doing enough justice by giving less importance to sports and arts. And I dont think artistic skills are an inborn talent, (they are for some), but they can be developed too. If you keep on practicing it, give due importance to it or if that interest is developed in you, maybe you would have been good in it. Many people dont like maths because of the way its been taught. The teachers just mug up the theorems, properties and just put it in front of students. That makes the subject boring. So I believe arts needs to be given importance on the educational basis.

  7. well i don't know...the school i came from we were taught very well,so i never really found any hatred towards any subjects...and unless you mug how are you expected to remember the basics...i agree there is a lot of rote reading but it cannot be done away with is very easy to critize the way things are done but it is very difficult to come up with a better alternative...the things you term as a course is a target for the schools which they have to finish. without any set targets, you cannot accomplish anything in life. i am not all pro the way the things are taught in schools but then if you are so against it think of a better alternative...put yourself in the shoes of the those people and think what can be done...
    and lastly, like i said before science and maths have more practical usefulness than arts. don't get offended, but in terms of actual usage, it is a fact.

  8. i think you both are deviating away from what the article was about. so its pointless arguing.

  9. Asavari - it's no wonder that sciences are more practical than the arts - but their not any more important than the arts. This is class 1 stereotyping.
    Let me ask you this. I don't know what field you are in, but, how many engineers do you know, studying engineering because they really WANT to do it? If I would be a victim of the system, I'd probably be studying eng right now and become a really bad one.
    Let me put it this way. Does it make more sense for us to be bad engineers or great in whatever we COULD HAVE become, had the system been more liberal towards us?
    And that's just one aspect. The newspapers you read, movies you watch that imprint a mindset upon you, the objects you use? You probably bought them because it was beautifully designed to your taste. Engineers and doctors are great, and its no wonder why, but designers, journalists and film makers aren't any less.

    He's not talking about flaws in the WAYS people teach.
    There are children who have no idea that a whole career can be practiced when they're right-brained. I thought something was wrong with me coz I was nothing like my classmates when it came to studies. Had I known, I'd be more focused since then and it would really help me in the long run.

    I hope you understand me and respond to it.

  10. As for taking a stand and changing the system, you can bet that Gaurav, once settled, would ensure to introduce a little right-brain-ness into the education system.
    I know I will. It's easy for you to say change the system, coz you never had to think about this. Spreading awareness about it itself is the first step to changing the system, and he's doing just that. Its the people that make the system.

  11. Good one there! Can relate to it very well! :)