How Veena Vadini Schoolis Paving The Way to A New Age Learning Through Ambidexterity.
“For the theory-practice iteration to work, the scientist must be, as it were, mentally ambidextrous; fascinated equally on the one hand by possible meanings, theories, and tentative models to be induced from data and the practical reality of the real world, and on the other with the factual implications deducible from tentative theories, models and hypotheses.”
-George E. P. BOX
One understands this quote by the famous British statistician, George E. P. Box, a little better when one reads about what ambidexterity does to a human mind, and how the children at Veena Vadini School have had an upper hand at cognitive abilities, thanks to both their hands. George E. P. Box, obviously, talks about mental ambidexterity, which is very much related to physical ambidexterity. While the ability to write with both hands is called physical ambidexterity, mental ambidexterity or cognitive ambidexterity relates to the ability to use thinking and creative logic simultaneously 1 . Statistically, one in every million people is ambidextrous. But, most ambidextrous people do it naturally, and students at Veena Vadini learn to do that in a matter of weeks.
All 200 students of Veena Vadini School can write with both hands and it is the only ambidextrous school in India. Along with the ability to write with both hands, the students are also taught to write six languages: English, Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit, Roman and Arabic. Founder and principal of Veena Vadini School, Mr. B P Sharma explains that a child is initially allowed to write with their dominant hand. After 2 months they are instructed to write with their non-dominant hand and practice regularly. When the students start writing fluently with their non-dominant hand, they are made to practice writing with both hands simultaneously.
Principal B P Sharm very proudly announced that his students are one of the fastest writers in the world with an average of 55 words per minute in Hindi, 45 in Sanskrit and 65 in English. The students can write in two languages and about two different topics at the same time!Almost all students of this school know their multiplication tables till 80.Students here are able to concentrate on multiple things at the same time with high efficiency. They learn to become better listeners and observers which results in them becoming fast learners.
According to leading Neurologist, Dr. Pratibha Singhi, brain cells respond to a repetitive activity by increasing in size, number and connections. In this case, the children are writing with both their hands in two different languages, stimulating both sides of their brain simultaneously. The brain cells enlarge and more connections develop on both sides of the brain, making these children smarter than an average Joe, who uses only one hand to write and speaks only one language.
It has been proven in various scientific studies that, teaching children multiple languages at a young age helps in their cognitive and emotional development. Bilinguals or polyglots are also more likely to have a wider range of career options.
We are living in the era of information overload. There are too many books to read, too many shows to watch, and a little too much of the news and social media to catch up on; to top all this, we are expected to be productive at school/college and work. With all the benefits of ambidexterity discussed above, it is safe to say that ambidexterity will provide sort of a system upgrade to our younger generation. Imagine a generation that is mentally faster, has better focus, can effectively switch between tasks, and is empathetic along with being polyglots! Call them Humans 2.0, if you will.
Department of Humanities