Mastery in any field demands the three Ps: practice, persistence, and patience, coupled with an enormous degree of the three Ds: devotion, discipline, and drilling (training). Swami Sivananda once said, “The harder the struggle, the more glorious the triumph. Self-realization demands very great struggle.” Amidst our constant struggle during the Covid-19 pandemic, we restarted our Hands-on Training Program in a “hybrid model with pandemic protocol” for our junior colleagues. Here’s the first glimpse and feedback from one of the participants, which touched our hearts. We are committed to delivering a lifetime experience for our students, not just education. We strive to innovate and create new teaching/learning methodologies for better skills and knowledge acquisition. I want to share some fundamental principles of our erudition techniques.
We have been running a hands-on surgical training program for over two decades, both long-term and short-term. We had national and international candidates for these programs. The learning abilities of these candidates varied. While some picked up surgical skills quickly, a few left without learning much. Some students took more than three months just to focus the microscope! I have keenly observed these students and how they grasp the nuances of surgery. This study has helped me innovate and devise better teaching methods to teach skills within a shorter period. One key observation is that students who used both sides of their brains fared better than others!
The concept of the human brain’s two different ways of thinking was first proposed by the famous American artist Betty Edwards in her book, “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.” In this ground-breaking book, based on the Nobel Prize-winning work of Dr. Roger W. Sperry, she introduced a revolutionary way of teaching. Her contention was that the brain has two ways of perceiving and processing reality. The left side of the brain is verbal and analytical, while the right side is visual and perceptual. She designed an innovative teaching method to bypass the analytical left side of the brain to free up the expressiveness of the right hemisphere. Today, artists and teachers worldwide draw inspiration from her work.
Now, a great deal of research is available on brain dominance theory. The essential findings of this theory are that each hemisphere of the brain – left and right – tends to specialize in and process different kinds of information, deal with various problems, and orchestrate diverse functions. Toga AW and Thompson PM found asymmetries across the brain sides in their careful anatomical comparative studies of brain structure and their connections.
Primarily, the left hemisphere is the more logical/verbal one, and the right hemisphere is the more intuitive, creative one. The left deals with words, the right with pictures; the left with parts and specifics, the right with wholes and the relationships of parts. The left deals with analysis, meaning breaking apart; the right deals with synthesis, meaning putting together. The left deals with sequential thinking; the right with simultaneous and holistic overview. The left is time-bound; the right is time-free.
Generally, we live in a left-brain-dominant world, where words, measurement, and logic are enshrined. At the same time, the more creative, intuitive, sensing, artistic aspect of our nature is often subdued. Although most people use both sides of the brain, one side tends to be dominant in each individual. Those who use both sides learn better than those who use only one. When we use both sides of the brain, it creates synergy and crossover, helping us to master anything better and faster.
When we tap into our right-brain capacity, we visualize, synthesize, transcend time, and get a holistic picture of what we want to do. However, many people find it challenging to draw energy from the right side of the brain. It is not very difficult, though. We need different strategies, methodologies, and a conviction for mastery.
Our teaching methodology is based on using both sides of the brain. I will share those tactics with you all in this space soon.
Thank you all for your constant patronage and feedback. I have received a large number of requests to participate in our courses. I am overwhelmed by the response. Please give me some time. I shall reply to you all personally with details, one at a time.
Let me conclude with a few words from Ayn Rand’s book of gargantuan proportion, “Atlas Shrugged,” that are permanently tattooed on my brain: “Do not let your fire go out. Spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-not-quiet, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved but have never been able to reach. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.”
Prof. Dr. Prahlada N.B
21 September 2023