To begin with we must first acknowledge that all learning uses the whole-brain. One does not learn exclusively on one side or the other of the brain, unless they have had a hemispherectomy.
The origins of whole-brain learning go back to early brain research conducted by Dr. Roger Sperry, a neurobiologist who recognized that there were brain functions that appeared to be specific to the different hemispheres of the brain. Thanks to modern technology much more is understood about the brain than every before.
Whole-brain learning is a marriage of what is understood about preferences in processing information that people naturally possess, or their learning style, and cognitive neuroscience. There have been many people who have dedicated their talents to better understand how people learn and an attempt to name them all will not be made.
However, one of the people responsible for making an early connection in the field of learning styles is Dr. Bernice McCarthy.
The process that has become whole-brain learning owes much to pioneers such as Dr. Sperry and Dr. McCarthy. The design model suggested in the lessons presented herein take much from Dr. McCarthy’s 4MAT system. The 4MAT system suggests that there are four distinct learning styles and consideration to teaching needs to address each of these.
In addition, each of the four styles also needs to honor natural right and left brain processing tendencies. Although the concept of hemisphericity, learning via the left or right hemisphere of the brain, has gone by the wayside thanks to research there is still a need to design a learning situation in which both sides of the brain receive stimulation.
Whole-brain learning attempts to utilize what has been learned in cognitive neuroscience describing how the brain naturally learns best and fit that into a learning styles model. The research that has been conducted using this model has yielded some very encouraging results.
As with anything new, practice is needed to become proficient. As you begin to use this model you may find creativity to be a problem, unfortunately traditional learning appears to tell learners what to do and how it is to be done. This allows for little creative thought, thus creativity can be a problem.