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Right brain approach to art: An examination of a drawing process used in a sixth grade classroom

21 July 1993


Drawing on the right side of the brain is a method of illustration developed by Betty Edwards (1989) and influenced by the discoveries of the brain, by psychobiologist, Roger W. Sperry (1966). Sperry's research revealed the dual nature of human thinking - verbal, and analytic thinking mainly located in the left hemisphere, and visual, perceptual thinking mainly located in the right hemisphere. Edwards incorporated this information and developed a sequence of drawing lessons that isolate and strengthen the right hemisphere, whose particular characteristics are specialized for this task. This paper investigates how this drawing process influenced the learning styles of the students, their attitude toward art, and how their time "on task" looked within the classroom. Data was collected through the examination of the illustrations, observations of the students at work, and from interviews of the participants involved in this study. Findings indicate their interest in art soared, and for drawing in particular. Their concentration and focus for each activity was elevated throughout this process, as was measured by the "quiet calmness" that prevailed throughout each lesson. Finally, the unique opportunities for visualization this method provides, gave each student a chance for adaptation and enhancement of their specific learning style.


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