Friday, February 13, 2004

No Science is better than bad science

I recently attended a talk by a well-known KM presenter. He opened by telling us about his wife, who was a school teacher, getting her pupils to do co-ordination activities such as rubbing their stomach and patting their heads at the same time. This, he explained, used both sides of the brain at once, so stimulated neurons to grow across the corpus-callosum. In doing so, pupils were allegedly more receptive to learning. Now I'm not sure where along the line the tosh was introduced, but this kind of pseudo-psychology immediately turned me off. There is no evidence at all that learninng a basic motor skill has any affect on other kinds of learning (though just waking somebody up with some exercise might, of course). Moreover, we're constantly using both sides of our brain in unison - e.g. every time we look at something the 2 half-images are combined by both hemispheres so each has a full image). Shame - it was a good talk, but it made me question the truth of other claims he made that I wasn't able to judge for myself.

If this kind of unvalidated 'knowledge' is passed around in KM, what hope is there of it ever progressing? No wonder to outsiders it seems to go around in circles year on year.

1 comment:

Sam said...

The example is even worse than I first realised - the reason its hard to pat your head and rub your stomach simultaneously is BECAUSE your 2 hemisheres are communicating so you get crosstalk of instructions. By rehearsing independent actions, you're actually getting your left and right brain to operate unilaterally.