Wednesday, March 26, 2008

From TED - "My Stroke of Insight" by Jill Bolte Taylor

A colleague sent me this video, and in so doing, introduced me to the TED theme "How the Mind Works". I'd been loosely familiar with TED already, but I'm thrilled to see that they're sharing so many ideas from so many incredible people on a subject that I find so interesting and so critical to the future development of education. I have provided a link to the TED theme in my links section, and look forward to accessing more of the resources therein.

I hope that sharing this talk by Jill Bolte Taylor, entitled "My Stroke of Insight", will help others to learn about the large-scale functional differentiation of the human brain, and will promote interest in learning about some of the smaller-scale functional differences that I suspect will become more and more important in facilitating student learning. While I do tend to be a bit skeptical about some of the generalizations included in Dr. Taylor's presentation, I think they help to build the foundation for inspiration and critical thinking. In particular this presentation demonstrates the educational power of personal experience and sharing it.

Visit the TED page for the transcript of this talk and much more.


  1. I saw the Bolte Taylor video from TED and was quite moved by its implications. While I hold a different view of cosmology than she does, nonetheless, as a teacher and a human being I found the distinct authority over the "now" of the right hemisphere to be an idea that I would have to think about more (mainly using my left hemisphere) :-).

    In my (and most) classrooms, are we operating as if the right half doesn't exist? ("Your education is your future" - may not appeal to entirely 50% of how we think. Small wonder that it is a weak argument).

    Thanks for a great post.

  2. Arnie, that's a great observation - I'd agree that very frequently, our (teachers) appeals for students to engage with a lesson involves promoting thought about a future that probably is beyond the imagination capacity of the student, rather than addressing the needs of the student at that particular moment. I suspect that the most effective lessons are those that keep the student happy in the moment but that also have student-desired outcomes in a nearer future than the one that we teachers usually try to get them to think about.

    Thanks for the comment!