ERIC Number: ED283221
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Mar
Minds, Brains, and the Language Arts: A Cautionary Note.
Millard, David E.; Nagle, Stephen J.
Although many composition teachers have taken to heart recent studies on the mind-brain (humanities/science) link and have begun to anticipate enhancing the teaching profession by providing a solid link between teachers of writing and "hard" scientists, such links between minds and brains should not become part of pedagogical design. Textbooks and teaching manuals that provide composition teachers with right brain/left brain exercises, or ideas on training eye movements are appearing, but brain hemisphericity studies are not as clear-cut as these texts would have teachers believe. Reasons for waiting to use mind-brain research to revise pedagogical literature include the following: (1) instructional programs derived from neurological studies ignore the peculiar experimental conditions necessary to produce the anomalous behaviors reported in the literature; (2) more recent cerebral hemisphere studies do not allow for axiomatic conclusions, because recent findings reveal functions like language are not solely based in one hemisphere; (3) classroom teachers who wish to teach individual students on the basis of hemispheric dominance really cannot do so, because no classroom is equipped to determine how an individual's brain is organized; and (4) the body of knowledge about intra-brain specialization for language production cannot be translated directly to writing, an equally complex but different type of performance. (A list of works cited and works consulted is appended.) (SKC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (37th, New Orleans, LA, March 13-15, 1986).