Most people are right-handed. A minority of people are left-handed, or “Lefties”. When my father went to school, as a Lefty, he was literally forced to use his non-dominant right hand. If he was caught writing with his left hand, his knuckles were beaten with a ruler! Now we know that there is nothing wrong with being a Lefty or a Righty, but back then it was considered deviant and abnormal.
What is a Left-Handed Learner?
A Left-Handed Learner, or Lefty, is anyone who thinks and learns differently from the majority of “right-handed” learners, or Righties. The world is intentionally designed–from seat belts to scissors–with right-handed people in mind. As a result, the Lefty minority struggles in many small ways every day. Left-Handed Learners tend to think and learn in consistent patterns that are different from the intended design of the educational world. As a result, Lefties are underserved in most school settings, struggling in many small to large ways every day.
Think about it – textbooks are written for Righties; the teachers are mostly Righties; the school schedules, curricula, systems, exams are all made for optimal learning FOR RIGHTIES. We don’t even have common language to discuss the issue effectively. So what happens?
Lefties get labeled as stupid or slow; lazy and dumb; weird; Learning Disabled, Autistic, Hyperactive, ADHD, distractible, you name it!
Certainly there are some Lefties who have some or all of those difficulties, JUST LIKE SOME RIGHTIES DO. But all Lefties have the additional challenge of dealing with a Righty-dominated classroom, teacher and classmates. Learning is more difficult. Teachers are capable, but not trained, prepared or even aware of the nature of the problem to effectively teach the Lefties in the regular setting. If the teachers get the training, resources and support, the Lefties can learn just as effectively as their equally talented Righty counterparts.
Teachers need HIGHLY EFFECTIVE Teaching Resources that match the high level of learning differences in the classroom with a high level of teaching flexibility and effectiveness to deliver rigor to typical and atypical students simultaneously.