This becomes an important factor in the training of our teachers and the allocation of resources in Australian schools. Through no fault of their own, many teachers are ignorant of the significance that the handedness of their students has on their learning and participation. It is often poorly taught at university and results in teachers being underprepared when they enter the classroom that has a number of left-handed students in it Mr McGuirk said.
The list of famous left-handers includes Leonardo da Vinci (artist & inventor), Pele© (soccer), Paul McCartney (music), Jim Henson (creator of The Muppets), Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, and Australians Tony Roche (tennis), Allan Border (cricket), Nicole Kidman (acting) and Neil Robertson (2010 World Snooker Champion).
It is thought that left-handedness may be linked to learning difficulties such as autism and dyslexia and to mental health issues such as schizophrenia. Yet it must also be stressed that left-handedness itself is not a handicap but is often associated with strengths in creativity, problem solving and spatial awareness functions of the right side of the brain which also controls movement on the left side of the body he said.
Mr McGuirk would now like to see a more detailed study be undertaken to examine the underlying causes, their relationship to handedness and the impact this will have on education in Australian schools. As a parent of a left-handed child, I have seen firsthand how an informed teacher can have a tremendous influence on the way a child learns and on the results that can be achieved he said. "Anything we can do to make teaching and learning more effective for these children will be worthwhile."
Friday 13th August is International Left-Hander's Day, a day dedicated to left-handers celebrating their unique abilities. Started in 1976, it is also a day for the other 90% of the population to take a moment to think about some of the challenges and difficulties faced by left-handers living in a right-handed world. Even though Left-Hander's Day falls on Black Friday this year, it is no longer evil or socially unacceptable to be left-handed and proud of it.
Lefty's is Australia's only organisation dedicated to left-handedness, providing support to left-handers, parents, teachers and employers. The Lefty's Resource Centre provides free information and support through its website at www.leftys.com.au
. Lefty's also sells over 290 products specifically designed for left-handers to make everyday tasks easier to manage.