Dorothy Lehmkuhl applies a popular classification of right-brained or left brained thinking when she identifies the right brained learner as primarily visual/spatial and left brained learner as auditory/linguistic. She goes on to say that the right brained learner is more sensual, creative, direct and even primitive. Interestingly, it is the left brain that by contrast “responds to basic sensory experiences: sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell – through words, thus losing much emotional value. — The right half of the brain helps you see the whole of what you perceive.” This is significant because it indicates that all learners, that is to say both “brain types” are able to process visual information, though they do it differently and the right brain, by definition is predisposed to be more comfortable with visual stimulus.
Herein lays the possible theoretical breakdown of the visual learner modality within the multiple intelligences model. Certain allowances must be made in regard to this processing of the visual by all types of persons, not just the spatial-visual learner. Otherwise, the seven modalities must be broken apart with linguistic, musical, and logical-mathematical learners tending to be left-brained, while the bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and the visual will tend to be classified as right-brained. Clark argues that Gardner misrepresents the unifying nature of the brain, and that in fact it is the associative nature of the brain that is one of its most noteworthy aspects. To say otherwise is to imply that only right-brained individuals can be visual learners, a concept which would be further complicated by the need for visual acquisition of knowledge in the discussed culture of “modern visual technology.”
- Adam L. Brackin