From the staff development bookshelf: Teaching strategies for right-brain learners

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, April 15, 2011

The right-brain learner processes information holistically, seeing the "big picture" or the answer first, not the details. When analyzing a problem, this learner starts with the major concept and works backward to find the details and come to a conclusion. Right-brain learners may become impatient with the details of a problem unless they can "see" the conclusion or solution quickly.

For example, when attending a class on cardiac events, a right-brain learner will leap to the answer (e.g., the patient is having a myocardial infarction) and then work backward to gather details to support the conclusion. When teaching right-brain learners, acknowledge that clinical experience may allow a leap to identify the final outcome or problem. But also emphasize the importance of having detailed evidence to support conclusions, since sometimes overlooking details can lead to an incorrect interpretation of a problem. This can be effectively taught through case study strategy of role-playing activities.

Source: Book excerpt adapted from Learning Styles in Nursing Education: Integrating Teaching Strategies into Staff Development by Adrianne E. Avillion, DEd, RN.

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