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Children and handedness: making the right choices

By Geoffrey K. Platt, Mohsen Shafizadehkenari and Gordon Revolta

Abstract

Traditionally, being left handed has been seen as being a problem and a number of books have been written to assist parents and teachers of children who are left handed. Over the last forty years scientific research has identified that being right handed and being left handed both mean that you have a lateralized brain and that the only difference between those with a right hand preference and a left hand preference is the specialisms that each hemisphere display. On the other hand, those who are mixed handed and who have no strong hand preference have a symmetrical brain that operates in a completely different manner and which research has shown will cause mixed handers to consistently underperform. Recently, since 2008, primary school teachers have recognised that approximately 25% of children arrive at school unaware of whether they are right or left handed and as teachers have never been trained to resolve this issue, difficulties have arisen in basic skills such as scribbling, colouring, tracing, drawing and writing. The children are, however, even at the age of 4 years, skilled in keyboarding and the use of mobile 'phones. The old ideas of "persuading" all children to use their right hands to write, even restraining and punishing them to secure compliance, has been left in the past, but more discrete techniques, such as demonstrating with the right hand and taking the pen or pencil from the child's left hand, demonstrating again, and then returning the implement to the child's right hand, persist with very serious consequences for the child's health. This book attempts to educate parents and teachers and to introduce them to the latest scientific research on the subject

Publisher: Nova Publisher
Year: 2012
OAI identifier: oai:shura.shu.ac.uk:4672
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