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This is How a Child’s Brain Works

Neurology is the study of the brain. With regards to the way children learn, just as adults, a child's brain functions in a very particular way. In early childhood education and beyond, it's important to note how the human brain functions, so that as a parent, teacher, or child, one understands how and why they learn in the manner that they do. According to applicable brain research, our brains have two unique manners in which it processes information. In essence, our brain is a combination of two hemispheres: the left and right. In each individual, one of these hemispheres is usually more dominant than the other. Take a look at the visual below to see each hemisphere's capabilities.

There has been much research on the brain as a unified body of matter (i.e. split brain), and how it pertains to early childhood development and beyond. In this realm, a balancing act is thought to occur; or a more balanced approach to learning and living. Therefore, a person who learns to utilize both hemispheres of their brain equally can not only think rationally (i.e. a step process), but they can also visualize the whole picture of a problem and also be creative about solving the issue. In addition, the human brain is divided into three primary networks: recognition, strategic, and affective.

In conclusion, it's important to realize what hemisphere your child tends to favor. By doing so, you'll have a stronger understanding of how they learn best what weaknesses, in which they need additional help. For example, if your child is a mathematical wonder and solutions seem to come easy for them, they are more than likely dominant in the left hemisphere. However, if your child loves to read fictional stories and write creative pieces of literature, poetry, etc.; they most likely favor their right hemisphere. The key is balance. Praise your child's strengths, but remain cognizant of their weaknesses to help them along the way in their educational journey.


CAST (2011). Universal design for learning guidelines version 2.0. Wakefield, MA.

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