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Int'l Left-Handers Day / by Eugene Clark, August 13, 2014 Adjust font size:

On a broader scale, the existence of lefties in our midst reminds us that not everyone is the same. We should cater, more than we do perhaps, for these individual differences, and in the case of International Left-Handers day, even celebrate them.

When designing the world around us and in making our rules we need to consult all stakeholders. A major advantage of modern technology is that today it is often possible to design things, eg an e-commerce platform or other technology advance, to cater for individual differences, thereby achieving 'mass customization'.

In education, too, we are learning more about individual learning styles and how to adapt learning strategies to match the learning preferences of individuals. For example, some students learn best by listening; others by doing; others still be interacting and collaborating. In other words, the challenge is less about how smart we are and more about how we are smart. The best teachers diagnose the learning styles of their class and use a mix of learning strategies to cater for these differences and also to teach children how to develop a bundle of learning strategies.

Finally, being more sensitive to individual differences is fundamentally about tolerance. Just because a person is different doesn't mean they are 'bad'. Let us try to use these differences to deepen our understanding and broaden our perceptions so that we may free ourselves from our own limitations and blind-spots.


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