Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind
Date: Wed Mar 10, 2004 5:15 am
Subject: Linda Verlee Williams - Teaching for the Two Sided Mind
In a message dated 3/9/2004 11:25:32 PM Eastern
Standard Time, momof2gals writes:
Subj: Re: the 9th year
Date: 3/9/2004 11:25:32 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: momof2gals (Lisa D. Ercolano)
To: [email protected]
Tell us more about Linda Verlee Williams and why I should consider
her an authority on the brain and learning, Christine. A quick
Internet search tells me only that her book is out of print,
albeit available, and that she also wrote a book about papier
1. She did not write a book about papier mache.
Her book "Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind" is listed
as a resource material on a website that is about working with
papier mache and papier mache in the classroom.
2. While I don't find a biography or curriculum
vitae on the "web", I have found a number articles
and websites in which her book "Teaching for the Two-Sided
Mind" is referenced or quoted. And I am not counting book-seller
websites where her book is simply listed for sale. The short
blurb on the back of the book reads as follows:
"Linda Verlee Williams
has taught school at every level from preschool to college. She
has trained teachers at the University of California at Berkeley,
for the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia, and in many school
districts. She is an instructor at University Extension, the
University of California and is an associate of The Learning
Circle in Berkeley."
Touchstone Books, a division of Simon &
Schuster, NY 1986
3. I bought my new copy of the book directly
off the shelves at Barnes & Nobles a couple of months ago.
I was specifically looking under "Educational Psychology."
4. While highly readable, the book is obviously
a research project with an eleven page Bibliography at the end
and 12 - 15 footnotes at the end of each chapter. While it reads
like a handbook on Waldorf Education, there are no books
or references cited by Rudolf Steiner or other
Waldorf Educators. There is only one direct reference to Waldorf
Education that I have found and it is a remark by the author,
not a direct quote of an outside source:
Pages 106 - 107
"Projects involving expressive
drawings, constructions, or collages are within every teacher's
capability. However, they can provide even richer experience
if children also receive instruction in art. One need only compare
the quality of the pictures made by children from Waldorf schools,
where art is an important part of the curriculum, with pictures
from public schools to realize how much children miss by the
exclusion of art instruction. The children in Waldorf schools
learn the basic skills of using different materials to produce
highly original and beautiful works of art; they are able to
use these skills in every academic subject. Their diagrams
of biological systems and their illustrations of history or writing
assignments have an elegance that is astonishing to teachers
unfamiliar with Waldorf techniques. All children have the capacity
to produce this beauty; when we fail to give them instruction
and materials, we deny them an important area of experience which
could produce greater involvement in all subjects and bolster
Date: Wed Mar 10, 2004 5:16 am
Subject: Teaching for the Two Sided Mind - Reference 1
What do we want our schools
Phi Delta Kappan; 2/1/1994;
The arts -- when taught during
(not after) the school day, when offered to all students (not
just to the talented),and when presented as serious subjects
with high standards -- are producing young people who are indeed
"educated," Mr. Oddleifson asserts.
WHAT DOES our society want
for our children? That they be able to use their minds well and
that they respect and value the opinions of others? We could
agree perhaps on these two educational outcomes.
In his article in this special
section, Craig Sautter speaks of different kinds of curricula
in schools. The standard, subject-matter-driven curriculum is the
one we mostly think about. There are a couple of others. The
first is the so-called metacurriculum, whose aim is the development
of "higher-order" or "critical and creative"
thinking skills -- in other words, the ability to use one's mind
The other is the "hidden"
curriculum, which has to do both with students' motivation to
learn and with their interactions with peers and adults. This
"hidden" curriculum is more closely related to the
real concerns of those inside schools, as we read in Voices from
Inside, a report based on interviews with teachers, students,
principals, and parents conducted by the Claremont (California)
University Center and Graduate School.
Could it be that most of our
schools are directing their efforts toward objectives that are
less relevant than they once were? Are we focusing on the wrong
things in thinking about education? Do we need to rethink the
whole purpose of education? Should we find out just what Americans
want their schools to do? We need to talk about these issues
as a nation.
All of us -- professional
educators and members of the general public alike -- are at once
expert and amateur about educational matters. Since we have all
been subjected to schooling, we all have opinions as to where
education ought to be heading. Educators, who should know the
most of all, are now being challenged by findings from other
professional fields of inquiry.
If the public is footing the
bill for public school education, it has the right to insist
that educational services be delivered in an efficient and professional
manner. In order for this to happen, we clearly need an approach
to school improvement that is not only coherent but workable
-- and at a cost that America is willing to bear.
Let me suggest an idea --
a coherent approach -- for your consideration. Three years ago
I found something that actually worked, and I have been investigating
the reasons why ever since. On the surface it has nothing to
do with "education" as we have come to understand it.
Most of us believe that education is primarily absorbing facts
-- building a knowledge base to become "educated."
What I found was that the arts -- when taught during (not after)
the school day, when offered to all students (not just to the
talented), and when presented as serious subjects with high standards
-- are producing young people who are indeed "educated."
Not only do the arts enable
students to achieve academically at rates far beyond what might
be expected of them (in subjects such as math and science), but
other marvelous things happen as well. Students who study the
arts respect their peers and treat them well. They become motivated
to learn. They enjoy coming to school, working hard, and succeeding.
Through the arts, the whole school "ecology" changes.
High standards become the norm in all subjects. Relationships
between students and teachers improve. Each curriculum -- the
regular, the meta-, and the hidden -- is addressed in arts-integrated
Ron Berger, a sixth-grade
teacher in western Massachusetts, has this to say about his results
The infusion of arts has had
a profound effect on student understanding, investment, and
standards. As a whole, students
not only do well on standardized testing
measures, but importantly and demonstrably do well in real-life
measures of learning. They are capable and
confident readers, writers,
and users of math; they are strong thinkers and workers;
they treat others well.
Ron Berger's school and other
arts-integrated schools around the country provide models of
institutions that have achieved dramatic results by using all
the arts as powerful systems for delivering learning and as effective
agents for change. A coherent vision for schooling in the 21st
century is embodied in these schools.
I find it particularly puzzling
that many professional educators -- who should know what they
are doing -- have slighted the arts. Yet research conducted by
the Center for Arts in the Basic Curriculum (CABC) points to
the conclusion that arts-integrated schools are the most promising
way to improve American education.
I ask those who are skeptical
to consider first the principles that are driving education today.
They include the idea that students have fixed amounts of intelligence
-- various-sized "buckets," if you will. Educators
will say that they can tell, early on, the size of students'
buckets and will put each into the appropriate track for his
or her bucket's size. And educators believe that their primary
job is then to fill each bucket with facts -- with knowledge.
But during the last 20 years,
cognitive psychologists studying how people really do learn have
established that children do not absorb knowledge passively -- they
construct it actively. And with that process they are able to
make their buckets larger. This process of constructing knowledge
has been described by David Perkins of Harvard University as
building and revising "relational webs."
As knowledge is constructed,
it must be made meaningful. Meaning arises from the marriage
of concepts -- born from the active use of our perceptive abilities
-- with an analytic framework, which gives them structure.
Most educators believe that
meaning can be arrived at merely through analysis and reason.
These beliefs find their origin in the works of Plato, who considered
the senses illusory and confined them to a cave. Equipping students
with the structure, or framework, is enough, in these educators'
minds. Talking at students, they feel, should do the job.
and cognitive psychologists are discovering this to be a false
notion. Meaning, they believe, can be arrived at only by combining
the intellect with the senses. Backing up the idea that the intellect
and the senses must work together as coequal partners to construct
meaning is Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences.
Gardner maintains we have at least seven intelligences, rather
than simply the two to which schools cater (the verbal and the
logical/mathematical intelligences). Gardner suggests that people
exhibit intelligence in several other ways. These include the
visual/spatial, musical, kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal
WHAT DOES all this have to
do with the arts? Those who work with Gardner in Harvard's Project
Zero, a group that has been thinking about this subject for 20
years, now say emphatically that the arts represent these other
intelligences -- they are cognitive domains that are as important
as the domains we have traditionally emphasized.
In light of these discoveries,
I suggest that the fundamental assumptions on which the educational
enterprise rests are flawed and must be reexamined. I am not
implying that educators aren't doing their job. They are simply
doing what the public has asked them to do. The practical problems
of teaching young people in today's schools are enormous. We
all have great respect for those willing to put up with what
can be intolerable working conditions. However, new understandings
about intelligence and about how children learn should be applied to teaching
practices and curriculum, which in turn must be aligned with
what we, as a people, have agreed are the purposes of education.
Art educators are also laboring
under intolerable conditions, not the least of which is the general
attitude that what they teach is irrelevant. However, to a certain
extent they are victims of their own attitudes. Many art educators
are really interested only in finding that special youngster
who will turn out to be a talented artist. They do not believe,
or even want to believe, that the arts are cognitive domains,
because that would make the arts accessible to everyone. The
arts would then no longer be the special province of the talented.
Art educators want to remain "special." Since most
other educators see little worth in the specialty of art
educators, they are doomed to push their shopping carts laden
with materials from class to class, while the "real"
educators take breaks or get together in planning sessions. We
have in many art educators the educational equivalent of the
homeless, even when they are lucky enough to find a job.
While general educators operate
with old and misguided assumptions about mind, knowledge, and
intelligence, art educators pursue the talented and leave the
rest struggling. Yet, if we are imbued with multiple intelligences
-- if the arts are indeed cognitive domains -- then we are all
artists in one form or another and to a greater or lesser extent.
Maybe we cannot sing or dance well, but we can write imaginatively,
or draw, or act. As I mentioned earlier, these arts-related intelligences
are the source of concepts, and concepts are essential for the
construction of meaning. Since the arts represent organized forms
of perception, we conclude that higher levels of abstract thought
-- i.e., critical and creative thinking capabilities -- are dependent
to a significant extent on artistic thinking. Thus the metacurriculum
of our schools can be addressed most effectively through the
Edward de Bono believes that
these higher-order, perceptive skills are vastly more important
to success in life than are the rational skills of logical reasoning.
We need to move from our exclusive concern
with the logic of processing, or reason, to the logic of perception. Perception
is the basis of wisdom. For twenty-four centuries we have put
all our intellectual effort into the logic of reason
rather than the logic of perception.
Yet in the conduct of
human affairs perception is far more important.
Why have we made this
mistake? We might have believed that perception did
not really matter and could in the end be controlled by logic
and reason. We did not like the vagueness, subjectivity
and variability of perception and sought refuge in the solid absolutes of truth
and logic. To some extent the Greeks created logic to make sense
of perception. We were content to leave perception to the world of
art (drama, poetry, painting, music, dance) while
reason got on with its own business
in science, mathematics,
economics and government. We have never
Perceptual truth is different from constructed truth.
One physicist, Morton Tavel
of Vassar College, believes that the future of the sciences is
dependent on the arts. This notion appears to be yet another
untenable idea, attributing to the arts powers that most people
cannot accept. After all, are not the sciences in the business
of collecting scientific "facts" about how the world
operates? Not according to Albert Einstein. He suggested that
the very purpose of the sciences is to understand the senses.
"The aim of science is
the conceptual comprehension and connection, as complete as possible,
of the sense experiences in their full diversity."
The aim of the arts is similar.
The sciences and the arts are both investigations into the nature
of reality. Artists and scientists share the desire to investigate
and express the ways interlocking pieces of reality fit together.
They simply use different symbol systems and different ways of
verifying their conclusions.
Aesthetic awareness is as
necessary to science as it is to the arts. Aesthetic understanding
is reached by connecting the intellect with the senses -- which
is precisely Einstein's definition of the aim of science. According
to Morton Tavel,
"An apple falling is
not simply an event. It is the exhibition of a unity which, to
the discoverer, is a profoundly emotional, exciting and even
Leonard Shlain, author of
Art & Physics, suggests that "mind (intellect) and universe
(senses) may be simply aspects of a binary system and that art
and physics should be seen as two pincers of a claw grasping
reality. The arts, being organized perceptions, are primary sources
of material with which to engage in scientific thinking. Shlain
suggests that artists are the first to conceptualize, through
their art, important understandings or generalizations about
the world that scientists only later translate into language.
He proposes that "the radical innovations of art embody
the preverbal stages of new concepts that will eventually change
a civilization." Moreover, the arts provide connections
that allow lateral leaps between cognitive domains, which can
produce sudden scientific insight.
Could it be that our schools
at present allow children to play with only half a deck? In denying
the arts to our children, do we deny them access to organized
(as opposed to chaotic) forms of reality -- since our perception
of reality is a combination of the intellect and the senses?
Is it possible that the failure of our schools can be attributed
to a significant degree to the dismissal of the arts from the
Those of us at CABC think
so. We believe that we need to regain a balance between the rational
mind and the perceptive mind. We need to integrate head, heart,
and hand. At the moment, we concentrate on the head -- "the
basics" -- and our efforts aren't working. We suggest a
new paradigm for education in America: arts-integrated education,
or education in and through the arts.
At the moment educators are
interested in the arts to promote their own agenda, which is
to teach traditional subjects (math, science, history, geography,
and so on). Forward-thinking educators want to "use"
the arts to integrate the "real" curriculum. That sends
a signal to art educators -- and to children as well -- that
the arts are important not for their own sakes, but only to augment
the "truly important" school curriculum.
ART EDUCATORS quite understandably
cry "foul" and claim the high ground of "art for
art's sake." While on the surface a meaningless slogan,
when the phrase is "unpacked" (to use a good education buzz
word), it becomes very meaningful, indeed. However, art educators
have difficulty claiming the high ground because of their historical
focus on the talented and their unwillingness to consider the
arts as cognitive domains. At the moment no one is listening.
The U.S. Department of Education
isn't listening. Less than .1% of its $30 billion budget is devoted
to arts education. The City of New York isn't listening. Recently
the last music teacher, in a system with an annual budget of
$7 billion, was fired. The cry of "art for art's sake"
is the sound of one hand clapping.
And yet it is through production
and performance in the arts, using the different symbol systems
that the arts give us (e.g., the musical note, the lines of a
drawing, the movement of the dance), that children pursue "perceptive
reality" -- a reality different from "constructed"
reality. To many -- if not most -- children, this reality is
more real than "school-based" reality, which focuses
only on words, reason, logic, and analysis. This is what Linda
Williams, author of Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind, says:
Children come to school as
integrated people with thoughts and feelings,
words and pictures, ideas
and fantasies. They are intensely curious about the
world. They are scientists,
artists, musicians, historians, dancers and runners, tellers
of stories, and mathematicians.
The challenge we face
as teachers is to use the wealth they bring us.
They come with a two-sided
mind. We must encourage them to use it, to develop both
types of thinking so that they have access to the fullest possible
range of mental abilities.
While we believe that all
children should be educated in the arts, taught as cognitive
domains or forms of understanding, there is power in education
through the arts as well. The argument is that, if a student
cannot comprehend traditional academic subjects verbally or linguistically,
that student can understand them visually, musically, or even
kinesthetically. So, an integrated project-based curriculum is
called for, with the arts becoming the connecting threads between
Another benefit of education
both in and through the arts is the use of the arts in exhibiting
knowledge. Educators promoting this idea (in particular Theodore
Sizer and the Coalition of Essential Schools) suggest that, to
fulfil a graduation requirement for high school, a student
could exhibit knowledge of emotions (for example) through dance,
music, the visual arts, theater, or poetry. This experience becomes
both powerful and interesting for students.
CABC'S work is based on the
following three principles developed by Project Zero:
* The arts are cognitive domains
that trigger multiple forms of learning. They engage students
in long-term, open-ended projects that integrate production of original
works with perception of the work of others.
* Effective arts education,
using such open-ended projects, is an important model for all
educators. It involves a process of critique of and reflection
on one's own work, and it naturally produces exhibitions, portfolios,
and performances that are more meaningful than other, more traditional
forms of assessment.
* Arts education holds promise
for community development by enhancing cultural and civic pride,
fostering intercultural understanding, and giving professionals
in the community opportunities to mentor public school students.
We suggest that an arts-integrated
school should have the following characteristics:
* In recognizing diverse learning
styles, students' multiple intelligences, and the need to integrate
head, heart, and hand, an arts-integrated school embraces education
both in and through the arts. Its goal is both to awaken a "craving
to comprehend" in all children and to provide the means
through which students are able to use their minds well.
* It is a school in which
teachers, administrators, parents, and students value the arts
for their own sakes -- as forms of cognition -- as well as for
their ability to illuminate academic subjects and to provide
ways to exhibit understanding.
* A meaningful part of the
school day is devoted to teaching the arts to all children as
basic disciplines with high standards (achievement-based arts).
In this manner the arts form the core of a school-wide culture
of high standards.
* An arts-integrated school
teaches curricular material around themes or units in which the
arts illuminate other subjects. It allows time for art educators
and general classroom teachers to work together to develop and
teach an arts-integrated curriculum.
* An arts-integrated school
supports the use of exhibitions that draw on various art forms
to demonstrate knowledge.
CABC views the arts as an
entire system of education. When the arts and the liberal arts
are treated as equal partners in the educational enterprise,
they are synergistic -- they result in "high-yield"
education. Stephanie Perrin, headmistress of Walnut Hill School
in Natick, Massachusetts, makes the following
The aims of both systems of
education in an arts-integrated school are to
produce young people who,
in addition to being knowledgeable and well-trained in the
specifics of both the arts and the liberal arts, are also able
to think critically; to make judgments;
to be self-aware both
in terms of their feelings and their ethical and moral
stance; to be aware of
others and able to work with them; to gather and assess information;
to have a sense of agency and control in the world; and to be
able to generalize and adapt a variety of skills and attitudes to
meet whatever challenges life presents. The aims
are simply to be able to keep on
higher-order skills and attitudes
can be developed in either
of the systems. They can be taught through
the study of music or
the study of biology. It is at this level of functioning that
the systems can be said to share
an outcome: the creation
of the educated young person.
We call for a national inquiry
into the notion of arts-integrated education -- education in
and through the arts. Such an inquiry might prevent a prediction
that was made in The Economist from coming true. In a recent
article, this highly respected British weekly magazine with a
broad world view suggests that the 21st century may turn out
to be a disaster. The reason: the failure of world democracies
to realize that the "Age of Reason," with its belief
that through reason alone human beings can understand and master
every aspect of their lives, is coming to an end. In the scenario
presented by The Economist, this failure of understanding leads
America to back away from its role of world leadership, resulting
in the disintegration of pluralistic alliances and the rise of
Viewing world history as if
looking back from the year 2992, The Economist indicates that,
in the 1990s,
"a new balance was needed
between the analytic part of the human mind and the instinctive
part, between rationality and feeling; only then could man address
the world more steadily. Because they did not tackle this problem
in time, the democracies marched straight from the climax of their
20th Century victory over totalitarianism towards disaster."
Peter Drucker, our country's
most respected management guru, argues the same point. He believes
that humankind is in the midst of a transformation in which the
organizing principle of life is evolving from analysis (or rational
thought) to perception. Information-based societies are organized
around meaning, and meaning requires at its heart common perception.
Drucker suggests that
"the world's new realities
are configurations and as such call for perception as much as
for analysis: the dynamic disequilibrium of the new pluralisms,
for instance; the multi-tiered transnational economy and the
transnational ecology; the new archetype of the |educated person'
that is so badly needed."
We believe that if arts-intergrated
schooling became a national norm, it could positively affect
management practices and improve our nation's productivity. Indeed,
it has been argued recently that the Japanese insistence on aesthetics
has much to do with that country's economic success.
Henry Mintzberg indicates
"the important policy-level
processes required to manage an organization rely to a considerable
extent on the faculties identified with the brain's right hemisphere."
These faculties are not the
verbal, logical/mathematical, and analytical capacities so often
sought in business managers but are the more intuitive, holistic,
imaginative, and conceptual capacities that are developed through
training in the arts. Mintzberg observes that a great deal of
a manager's inputs are soft and speculative -- they include impressions
and feelings about other people. These inputs are based on perceptions.
He also suggests that analytical inputs (reports, hard data)
seem to be of relatively little interest to managers.
Charles Hampden-Turner observes
that U.S. corporate culture is overwhelmingly left-brained (rational,
analytic) and reflects a general national disposition. In
our culture we consistently stress analysis and the separation
and isolation of elements from one another. We think in parts,
rather than wholes. But the creation of wealth in today's world
requires thinking in wholes. Our era now requires holistic processes
and synergistic capabilities. Good managers synthesize rather
than analyze information.
Ellen Harris, the associate
provost for the arts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
and a CABC board member, recently wrote,
"The arts have helped
prepare MIT students in business. An alumnus at a large New York
accounting firm recently stated at an MIT alumni meeting that
his firm interviews about forty MIT students every year. Of the
ten they recently hired, four presented minors in the arts. The
latter fact so significantly set these candidates apart from
the others in terms of creative thinking, flexibility and presentation
that the firm is now using the arts minor as a screening criterion."
A useful part of the national
dialogue on the purpose of schools generally and on the notion
and effectiveness of arts-integrated schools would be a consideration
of how schools can "retool" themselves to meet the
requirements of the new paradigm. Such a transformation will
necessitate simultaneous attention to curricular, instructional,
and organizational issues within each district.
CABC's approach is based on
the premise that the transformation of America's schools must
come from within. Every school has a distinct culture, and organizational
change within schools begins with the acknowledgment that a school's
culture has the power to promote or inhibit intellectual and
organizational growth. CABC's interest is in how to foster, nurture,
and design cultures that make for healthy workplaces for adults.
Such a school culture would encourage collegiality among teachers,
the use of the knowledge base of education, the processes of
critical and creative thinking, mutual respect between teachers
and students, and the involvement of teachers in decision
Our national dialogue must
include a deep examination not only of the notion of arts-integrated
education but also -- if we decide as a people that we want it
-- of how we bring it about. The course of events and the fate
of our country in the 21st century may well depend on it.
[1.] David N. Perkins, "Art
as Understanding," Journal of Aesthetic Education, Spring
1988, p. 114.
[2.] Edward de Bono, I Am
Right -- You Are Wrong: From Rock Logic to Water Logic (New York:
Viking/Penguin, 1991), p. 42.
[3.] Morton Tavel, private
conversation with author, 1993.
[4.] Quoted in Dwight L. Allison,
The Rise of Consciousness (Boynton Beach, Fla.: Dwight L. Allison,
1992), p. 25. Italics added.
[5.] Tavel, private conversation.
[6.] Leonard Shlain, Art &
Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light (New York:
William Morrow, 1991), p. 17.
[7.] Linda Verlee Williams,
Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind A Guide to Right Brain/Left Brain
Education (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983), p. 189-90.
[8.] Stephanie Perrin, "The
Aims of Education at Walnut Hill: The Art of Learning,"
working paper for the Klingenstein Fellowship, January 1991.
[9.] "Looking Back from
2992 -- A World History, Chapter 13: The Disastrous 21st Century,"
The Economist, 26 December 1992-8 January 1993, p. 19.
[10.] Peter F. Drucker, The
New Realities (New York: Harper & Row, 1989), p. 264.
[11.] Henry Mintzberg, Mintzberg
on Management: Inside Our Strange World of Organizations (New
York: Free Press, 1989), p. 53.
[12.] Charles Hampden-Turner,
Creating Corporate Culture: From Discord to Harmony (Reading,
Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1990).
[13.] Ellen T. Hanis, "Why
Study the Arts -- Along with Math and Science?," Aspen Institute
Quarterly, Winter 1992, p. 100.
COPYRIGHT 1994 Phi Delta Kappa,
HighBeam Research, LLC.
© Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.
Date: Wed Mar 10, 2004 5:22 am
Subject: Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind - Reference 2
Using multimedia resources
in teaching the Bible.
Dalton, Russell W.
We live and work in a world
saturated with digital media and populated with people who learn
in a variety of ways. The multisensory and non-linear capabilities
of multimedia can help educators achieve a variety of goals in
teaching the Bible in seminary classrooms and in the church.
Multimedia, in its most basic
sense, refers to the simultaneous presentation of sights and
sounds through a variety of media. In recent years, the term
has most commonly been used to refer to digital media (e.g.,
CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, Internet websites, and computer-based programs
like PowerPoint) that combine video, audio, and graphics into
one presentation program. Rather than trying to review the wide
variety of multimedia resources available, this essay will focus
on two quite different projects that may serve as case studies
to raise several philosophical and methodological issues related
to the use of multimedia in teaching the Bible.
Each project draws on the
multisensory and non-linear strengths of multimedia to accomplish
its educational objects, but one project (developed at United
Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio) was designed for classroom
use in theological education, while the other (the American Bible
Society's New Media Bible) was intended primarily for the religious
education of teenagers. Whereas the UTS project is concerned
with the development of the learner's interpretive skills, the
ABS project attempts to "translate" particular biblical
texts into an audiovisual language. Each project pays attention
to both cognitive and affective dimensions of instruction. The
UTS project, however, emphasizes the use of multimedia resources
to facilitate cognitive learning, while the ABS project provides
resources that are especially suitable for affective learning.
DIVERSE WAYS OF KNOWING
Students come to seminary
from a wide variety of backgrounds, with differing levels of
ability to absorb and process the information required for critical
theological reflection on biblical texts. They also come well-supplied
with various preconceived notions about the Bible. One of the
teacher's essential tasks is to help students think critically
about biblical texts. (1) Of course, the mere communication of
information neither guarantees understanding nor motivates the
learner to act upon information received. So the teacher not
only communicates information but also creates the right amount
of disequilibrium in students' minds to help them "get some
distance from their own values and beliefs." (2) To accomplish
these tasks, a traditional seminary education relies
heavily on the verbal and
analytical presentation and processing of information through
reading, lecture, and discussion. But experience in the classroom
leads many to believe that these traditional ways of teaching
leave a significant number of students unaware (Or doubting the
importance) of the contributions that historical-cultural background
material can make to their understanding of the biblical texts.
Broadcasting and receiving
on more than one channel. For years, educational psychologists
have told us that there are enormous differences in how people
acquire, process, and represent knowledge. Howard Gardner talks
about "multiple intelligences" and argues that "[w]e
are not all the same; we do not all have the same kinds of minds...;
and education works most effectively if these differences are
taken into account rather than ignored or denied." (3) In
Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind, Linda Verlee Williams says,
"The learner is like a television set which can receive
information on several channels. Usually, one channel comes in
more clearly and more strongly than the others." (4)
Williams's metaphor allows
us to articulate what has become an increasingly apparent problem
in the world of theological education: many students heading
into ministry do not get good "reception" on our most
commonly used "channels" of instruction. Educational
specialists have various ways of describing these teaching and
learning "channels." The terms "verbal thinking"
and "visual thinking" are sometimes used to represent
clusters of abilities that roughly correspond to distinct ways
the different parts of the human brain receive, process, or manipulate
is sometimes used as a kind of shorthand for the analytical,
linear-sequential (left-brain) reception and processing of information,
whereas "visual thinking" is used to describe the pattern-seeking,
pictorial-spatial (right-brain) reception and processing of information.
But effective thinking requires the use of both "sides"
of the human mind! "Dual coding"--the presentation
of information through both verbal and pictorial channels--can
increase the average learner's comprehension and retention of
Regardless of the terms used
to describe these teaching and learning channels, "the verbal,
analytical process usually identified with thinking is only one
way of processing information." (7) While it may have been
sadly neglected in our graduate schools, "[v]isual thinking...
is [also] a basic way of obtaining, processing, and representing
information." (8) Theological education (especially in the
Protestant Christian tradition) has largely neglected the pictorial-spatial
capacities of the brain. While more than one branch of the Judeo-Christian
tradition has exhibited iconoclastic inclinations, (9) the emphasis
on the primacy of the Word in Protestant circles has magnified
this tendency to look with suspicion on the making of images.
(10) Nevertheless, visual thinking continues to be the clearest
learning "channel" for many people in Protestant churches
and seminaries. As William Dyrness says, "We live in a generation
raised on a steady diet of the visual." (11) Students continue
to come to seminary with di verse optimal learning styles, many
of which do not respond well to our verbal-analytical modes of
Although reading might seem,
on the surface, to be a "visual" activity, research
indicates that making sense of a string of syllables, words,
sentences, and paragraphs is a "left-brain" (linear-sequential-analytical)
function. Encoding or decoding anything more than a word or two
requires serial processing (one item at a time, in the correct
order). Other types of information such as pictures, images,
maps, charts, diagrams, and melodies are primarily processed
in the part of the brain that specializes in perceiving patterns
and integrating component parts into a recognizable whole. Such
visual-spatial information can be and often is presented through
chalk-board drawings, pictures, illustrations, and slides. Good
teachers know that it is helpful (when possible) to represent
verbal abstractions graphically. However, there is a teaching-learning advantage
to be gained by the simultaneous presentation and processing
of information both verbally and visually. (12)
Audio-visual or multimedia
resources would seem the ideal way to present verbal and visual
information together in a coordinated fashion. Yet few of the
available resources are appropriate for teaching students to
think critically and reflectively about biblical texts. Most
of the materials currently available
in video tape format present
learners with interpretations of the content of the biblical
texts. They seldom deal with the kinds of information that can
help students become responsible interpreters in their own right.
Those audiovisuals that do encourage the learner to think critically
or reflectively about the biblical texts consist primarily of
talking heads, presenting verbal-sequential and analytical information
in what is essentially a lecture format on film. The images presented
(of the speaker speaking) do not complement, supplement, or enhance
the listener's comprehension or retention of what is said.
Most digital (computer-based)
programs produced for use in theological education are text-based,
relying heavily on the use of reading material displayed on a
computer screen. While these programs enable students to navigate
from place to place within the texts and to consider a variety
of subjects or sub-categories in a less linear fashion than if
the material were presented in a book, they still address primarily
persons who learn best by reading. Moving around in the texts
may help satisfy some learners' desire to handle or manipulate
things, but for the most part these computer-based programs do
not simultaneously engage both the eyes and the ears in the learning
(edited for length)
Although multimedia is often
seen as a resource for individual use or for distance education,
the projects described above illustrate multimedia's value for
face-to-face teaching of the Bible. Multimedia's audio-visual
capabilities engage more than the rational, analytical mind.
The simultaneous sights and sounds of multimedia seem particularly
effective at breaking through preconceptions, creating disequilibrium,
and making learners receptive to new possibilities.
(1.) "Critical thinking"
means the ability to entertain other viewpoints or perspectives
and to consider the possibilities of multivalence. See C. Meyers,
Teaching Students to Think Critically (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass,
(2.) Ibid., 27.
(3.) H. Gardner, Intelligence
Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century (New York:
Basic Books, 1999) 91.
(4.) L. V. Williams, Teaching
for the Two-Sided Mind: A Guide to Right Brain / Left Brain Education
(New York: Simon & Schuster, Touchstone edition, 1986) 145.
(5.) Use of the terms "right
brain" and "left brain" is a "helpful fiction"
that heuristically describes differing learning styles. The terms
may not accurately reflect the actual physiology of the brain.
(6.) See, e.g., M. M. Clark
and A. Paivio, "Dual Coding Theory and Education,"
Educational Psychology Review 3 (1991) 149-210.
(7.) Williams, Teaching for
the Two-Sided Mind, 29.
(8.) Ibid., 85.
(9.) For an excellent overview
of the relationship of faith and the visual arts in Christian
history see W. A. Dyrness, Visual Faith: Art, Theology, and Worship
in Dialogue (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001).
(10.) E.g., "The mind
that takes up with images is a mind that has not yet learned
to love and attend to God's Word" (J. Packer, Knowing God
(Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 1993] 49).
(11.) Dyrness, Visual Faith,
KATHLEEN A. FARMER
United Theological Seminary
Using Multimedia Resources
in Teaching the Bible
Farmer earned her Ph.D. in
Old Testament at Southern Methodist University She is the author
of The Book of Ruth: Introduction, Commentary and Reflections
in The New Interpreter's Bible (Abingdon). She is a United Methodist
RUSSELL W. DALTON
United Theological Seminary
(Co-author with Kathleen A.
Dalton received his Ed.D.
from Union-PSCE. He is the author of Video, Kids and Christian
Education (Augsburg). He is an ordained minister in the Amen
can Baptist Churches, USA.
COPYRIGHT 2002 John Carroll
HighBeam Research, LLC.
© Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.
Date: Wed Mar 10, 2004 5:23 am
Subject: Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind - Reference 3
Contemporary Women's Issues
Database; 6/1/1991; Clarke, Jan|Harvey, Elaine
Contemporary Women's Issues
A Girls in Science Bibliography
des femmes, 06-01-1991
Editor's Note: A short annotated
bibliography of texts relevant to the education of girls in science
fills this issue's Reviews section. Publisher's name and address
are given where available, as well as approximate prices.
Alic, Margaret. Hypatia's
Heritage: A History of Women in Science from Antiquity to the
Late Nineteenth Century. London: The Women's Press, (1986) $13.25.
One of the best historical
overviews of women mathematicians. Of particular interest is
chapter 11: The Nineteenth-Century Mathematicians: The Mathematical
Contributions of Sophie Germain; Ada Lovelace and the Beginnings
of Computer Science; The Mathematical Mind: The story of Sophia
Ashton-Warner, Sylvia. Teacher.
New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc. (1986) $12.50.
"A vivid journal of incidents,
personalities, sudden moments of insight, and a philosophy of
education which emerges through reflection upon experiences.
It should have great value not only for those interested in the
problems of education in old cultures and new nations, but also
for those concerned with the future of civilization..."
Bleier, Ruth. Science and
Gender: A Critique of Biology and Its Theories on Women. The
Athene Series, New York: Pergamon Press (1984) $19.95.
The Athene Series is an international
collection of feminist books that focuses on the construction
of knowledge and the exclusion of women from the process.
"This book is concerned
with the role of science in the creation of an elaborate mythology
of Women's biological inferiority as an explanation for their
subordinate position in the cultures of Western civilizations."
Burns, Marilyn. The I Hate
Mathematics! Book. Toronto: Little, Brown and Company (1975).
"This book is for nonbelievers
of all ages... . This book says that mathematics is nothing more
(nor less) than a way of looking at the world and is not to be
confused with arithmetic."
Cajori, Florian. A History
of Mathematical Notations: Volume 1: Notations in Elementary
Mathematics. La Salle, Illinois: The Open Court Publishing Company,
(1928, reprinted 1974) $7.15.
This classic on mathematical
notation provides interesting historical nuggets for the classroom
teacher. Topics are Numeral Symbols and Combinations of Symbols;
Symbols in Arithmetic and Algebra: groups of symbols used by
individual writers, topical survey of the use of notations; Symbols
in Geometry: ordinary elementary geometry, past struggles between
symbolists and rhetoricians in elementary geometry.
Cheek, Helen Neely et al.,
ed. Handbook for Conducting Equity Activities in Mathematics
Education. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 1906
Association Drive, Reston, Virginia 22091, U.S.A. (1984).
Ching, Hilda. Girls and Science:
Making the Connection. B.C. Teacher Status of Women Journal,
Connelly, F. Michael, Robert
K. Crockner, and Heidi Kass. Science Education in Canada Volume
2: Achievement and its Correlates. Toronto: OISE Press, 1989.
This study is a result of
the recommendations in Who Turns the Wheel from the Science Council
of Canada (see below).
Culley, Margo & Catherine
Portuges, ed. Gendered Subjects: the dynamics of feminist teaching.
Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, (1985) $17.95.
"...a rich sample of
theoretical and practical reflections on classroom experience
by teachers of Women's Studies ... raising provocative questions
which apply broadly to many areas of progressive teaching."
Gilligan, Carol. In a Different
Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development. Cambridge,
Mass: Harvard University Press. (1982).
"My goal is to expand
the understanding of human development by using the group left
out in the construction of theory to call attention to what is
missing in its account. Seen in this light, the discrepant data
on women's experience provide a basis upon which to generate
new theory, potentially yielding a more encompassing view of
the lives of both of the sexes."
Gilligan, Carol, Nona P. Lyons,
& Trudy J. Hanmer, eds. Making Connections: The Relational
Worlds of Adolescent Girls at Emma Willard School. Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1990.
This is an excellent study
on the relational learning styles of girls.
Jacobs, Judith E., ed. Perspectives
on Women and Mathematics. Eric Clearinghouse for Science, Mathematics
and Environmental Education, College of Education, Ohio State
University, 1200 Chambers Road, Third Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43212,
Papers presented in the Women
and Mathematics strand of the 1978 conference of the National
Council of Teachers of Mathematics held in California form the
core of this book.
Kaseberg, Alice et al. Use
EQUALS to Promote the Participation of Women in Mathematics.
Math/Science Network, Lawrence Hall of Science, University of
California, Berkeley, California 94720. (1980) $9.00.
The EQUALS program is part
of the Math/Science Network's elementary and secondary focus.
This book contains resources for classroom projects, teaching
strategies, problem solving activities, career information, resource
materials, model workshops and bibliographies.
Keller, Evelyn Fox. Reflections
on Gender and Science. New Haven: Yale University Press, (1985).
work explores the possibilities of a gender-free science and
the conditions that could make such a possibility a reality."
Perl, Teri. Math Equals: Biographies
of Women Mathematicians + Related Activities. Don Mills, Ontario:
Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, (1978). $9.45.
This book is a must for teachers
and students. The biographies are interesting, and the related
Resnikoff, H.L. and R.O. Wells,
Jr. Mathematics in Civilization. New York; Dover Publications,
Inc. (1973) $14.95.
This is a well-written book
dealing with Mathematics in Antiquity, the Adolescence of Computation,
the Rise of Geometrical Analysis, and Twentieth-Century Mathematics.
It contains some excellent ideas for the secondary teacher. It
is a traditional work without a feminist perspective.
Robertson, Heather-Jane. The
Idea Book: A Resource for Improving the Participation and Success
of Female Students in Math, Science and Technology Canadian Teacher's
Federation, 110 Argyle Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 1B4.
The Idea Book is meant to
"serve as a catalyst
for information exchange among teachers and enrich the quality
and quantity of scientific education for female students."
Rosser, Sue Vilhauer. Female
Friendly Science: Applying Women's Studies Method and Theories
to Attract Students. New York: Pergamon Press, 1990.
Russell, Diane E.H. ed. Exposing
Nuclear Phallacies. The Athene Series, New York: Pergamon Press,
"Exposing Nuclear Phallacies
is a powerful international collection of articles which tackles
a subject of the utmost urgency and importance to us all, taking
as its theme the significance of socialized gender differences
in the origin and perpetuation of the nuclear threat."
Science Council of Canada.
Who Turns the Wheel? Ottawa, Ontario, 1982.
Proceedings of a workshop
on the science education of women in Canada. Available free of
charge from the Council, 100 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa, Ontario,
SCWIST. Imagine the Possibilities:
A Workshop Program for 9-12 year old girls.
Step-by-step instruction on
how to deliver a Girls in Science program, including teaching
units and a teacher's guide. Available for $15.00 from SCWIST,
Box 2184, Vancouver, B.C., V6B 3V7.
Shaw, Evelyn & Joan Darling.
Female Strategies. New York: Simon & Schuster,
Inc., (1985) $10.95.
"...two biologists explore
the astonishingly diverse courtship, mating, and nurturing behaviour
within many species of the animal kingdom to show that there
are as many ways to be "female" as there are animals."
Spender, Dale. Invisible Women:
The Schooling Scandal. London: Writers and Readers Publishing
Cooperative Society Ltd. (1982) $8.95.
This book is a must for teachers.
Read about The Old, Old Problem; The Knowledge of Males; In the
Classroom; The World According to Men; Women's View.
Spender, Dale, ed. Men's Studies
Modified: The Impact of Feminism on the Academic Disciplines.
The Athene Series, New York: Pergamon Press, (1981). $23.50.
"Fundamental to feminism
is the premise that women have been `left out' of codified knowledge,
so that the world has been explained in terms of men but not women.
Essays on the following academics disciplines explore not only
how this happened but why: language, literary criticism, philosophy,
history, sociology, political science, anthropology, psychology,
economics, media studies, education, law, medicine, biology,
and the scientific ethic.
Thompson, Jane. Learning Liberation:
Women's Response To Men's Education. London & Canberra: Croom
Helm, (1983) $19.50.
Thompson looks at the education
"an important regulator
of social and economic class relations and a powerful ideological
instrument in the battle for the hearts and minds of dutiful
workers, who need to be conformed to the rules of order required
by class domination if that oppression is to be continued."
A chapter is devoted to the
schooling of girls.
Walkerdine, Valerie, and The
Girls and Mathematics Unit. Counting Girls Out. London: Virago
An excellent study on girls
and math education in Britain.
Weiler, Kathleen. Women Teaching
for Change: gender. class & power. Massachusetts: Bergin
& Garvey Publishers, Inc. (1988) $18.15.
critical educational and feminist theories, Weiler reveals the
day-to-day struggles and achievements of feminist teachers who
invite their students to become more conscious of the political
and social forces that are shaping their lives."
Whyte, Judith. Girls into
science and technology: The story of a project. London: Routledge
and Kegan Paul, 1986.
Williams, Linda Verlee. Teaching
for the Two-sided Mind: a guide to right brain/left brain education.
New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc. (1983) $13.98.
"Students need right-brain
strength to achieve balanced thinking skills and to activate
a full range of cognitive and creative abilities."
Women of Power: A Magazine
of Feminism, Spirituality, and Politics. Issue Eleven, Fall,
"This issue explores
the theme, Science and Technology. We are proud to investigate
with you ... some of the women's issues, and women visionaries,
and activists significant to the theme."
and Education". Journal of Education 167, no. 3 (1985),
Boston University, 605 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Mass. 02215.
Of particular interest in
this women's issue is Dorothy Buerk's articles, "The Voices
of Women Making Meaning in Mathematics."
Copyright 1991 Canadian Congress
for Learning Opportunities for Women
HighBeam Research, LLC.
© Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.
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