Vera F. Birkenbihl is a German pioneer in holistic and brain-friendly learning. She has researched this topic thoroughly and illustrated it in numerous publications. In her best-selling book “Stroh im Kopf” …she distinguishes between two types of people: “Everyone is a brain owner, but not everyone is a brain-user!”
Someone who (efficiently) uses their brain has a life-long desire to learn. For this person learning equals fascination and pleasure. Just like it does for small children.
Learning = Fun?
For the majority of us this statement doesn’t really apply anymore. Can you remember the last time you enjoyed studying? We experience joy and a sense of elation when we use the brain to a maximum. Research shows that through theoretical explanation (for the left side of the brain) and corresponding images or stories (for the right side) we can stimulate both hemispheres of the brain. Neuroscientists speak of a ‘drive or appetite for understanding’, which signifies achieving an optimal pleasure for the brain through successful learning.
In addition, the more freedom and room to experiment provided in the learning processes, the higher the fun-factor. Being able to explore and examine the world, provides children with positive experiences and feelings.
However, many people were taught by boring teachers (professors, parents) and lost interest in learning. School takes the fun out of learning through statements like: “Don’t draw in the book! Keep still! Don’t do that!” all counter-productive for natural (brain-friendly) learning. In order to spark interest in others we have to provide brain-friendly information which stimulates both sides of the brain. School and orthodox education has created many lazy minds.
Symptoms of a lazy mind:
- Believing that you have bad memory
- Not being able to read efficiently
- Concentration deficit and aversion to studying, make learning difficult
- Information retention is exhausting and trying, due to inefficient use of the brain
- The lazy mind feels weary and believes others are more intellectual when actually they just use their minds more efficiently.
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
~ Mark Twain