An Ultimate Learning Environment

Being young adults, we will someday be the future leaders in this world. It will be our
responsibility to design an education system that will bridge right and left brain learning in order to realize
“the full spectrum of human potential that looms enticingly before us.” (Margaret Hatcher, Whole Brain
Learning.) The full potential of the human brain is now within reach. To develop our brain to this
potential is the greatest challenge for educators. Our class formed several groups that designed schools to
implement whole brain learning by developing the schools physical environment, curriculum, personnel,
and assessment. What did the students put in the school that would help achieve whole brain learning?
THE TASK
Working in small groups one aspect of a school was to be fully designed. The area developed is for a specific age group or grade level. The research findings in Margaret Hatcher’s, “Whole Brain Learning” were used in support of why their schools would achieve the ultimate learning environment. All of the following aspects were to be considered.
? PhysicalBuildings and facilities, geographical location, classrooms
? CurriculumWhat is taught, why, and how
? PersonnelStaff, students, community support
? AssessmentGoals, student and staff evaluation
After all the research was done, an oral report was presented in front of the class using appropriate visual materials. The presentation was not to exceed twenty minutes. All group members were to be fully involved in the presentation.


OBSERVATIONS
In this class there were a total of six schools presented. Each school had its own unique features and had its own area of specialization. The majority dealt with secondary school education.
? 3 schools dealt with the science departments. e.g. (Chemistry, Biology, Marine Biology, Physics, and Astronomy)
? 1 school was devoted to Kindergarten students
? 1 school focused on Physical Education
Right and Left Brain Functions
The groups dealing with science departments focused on left brain functions. These subjects require number skills, reasoning, sequential thinking, and convergent problem solving.The remaining schools emphasized right brain functions. They dealt with the creative and imaginative instincts of the students.

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In order to accomplish these tasks students were able to use computers. Computers allow the students access to unlimited amounts of information from all over the world. As a result learning of all students from the very brightest to the slowest would improve drastically. Computers could even function in schools as private tutors. The use of this technology could also relieve the teachers of many time consuming chores that now burden their lives.
Discovery and experimental programs were a big part of these schools. In the sciences it is essential for students to have hands on experience (learning by doing). Too much theory will make students lose interest. As a result more practical labs will be put into the curriculum. A good example of this is called Problem-based learning where the emphasis is on problem solving proficiency, self-directed learning strategies, and team participation skills.


Smaller classes would allow students to respond to more personal attention. Students would be allowed to get to know each other better. This will lead the students to be better team players, an essential skill out in the real world. One school provided students with a full meal plan that dealt with only healthy foods. These foods would help stimulate the students mind, keeping them refreshed and active throughout the day.


CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This activity made it clear that it isn’t as easy as it looks to design a school to achieve whole brain learning. The Curriculum and physical environment well done. Each group had visual depictions of the buildings and facilities of their school. It was found that students lacked research on two parts of the project. These parts were the personnel and assessment. Very little was said about how teachers would evaluate students. For future assignments, more emphasis should be placed on the curriculum and assessment areas. Synetics, Multi-Sensory / Discovery / Experimental learning techniques, and Divergent and Creative Thinking Techniques should have had more influence on group decisions. Students must realize the value of emotions in learning and how to apply their education to real life situations.