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BellaOnline's Special Education Editor

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Eye Dominance

Guest Author - Susan Hart

We hear about hand dominance (right handedness and left handedness) all the time, but eye dominance is not discussed very often. Many people are surprised to learn about eye dominance. It does make sense, though, that just as we use one hand more than the other, we use one eye more than the other. When we discover which eye is dominant, we can make simple changes in our surroundings to accommodate the dominant eye. The results of these changes can be surprising—they make life easier and more enjoyable. Moving furniture to accommodate for eye dominance can make a great difference to family members. Rearranging children’s bedrooms, playrooms, and classrooms to accommodate eye dominance can improve their attention spans and increase their enjoyment of activities.

I noticed in college that I tended to sit on the left side of every classroom. It was only later that I recognized my right eye dominance. This explains why I preferred sitting on the left side—I could see the teacher more comfortably from that side. Perhaps you have noticed the same thing. Maybe you typically sit on the left side of the couch or prefer the right side of the movie theater.

Recognizing the role of eye dominance can really change classroom dynamics. If a teacher knows the eye dominance of each student, the teacher can properly position each child in the classroom for optimal vision. This can actually improve behavioral problems in classrooms. For example, if a right eye dominant student sits to the left of a left eye dominant student, the two will be looking at each other rather than at the teacher. By moving the left eye dominant student to the right side of the classroom and the right eye dominant student to the left side of the classroom, the students will be able to better focus on the teacher. Thus, the students’ attention is put on the teacher rather than on each other. Some teachers claim even students with ADD or ADHD have had increased attention spans after eye dominance was tested and accommodated for.

So, how is eye dominance tested for? Actually, it requires no medical training—it can be done simply in a home or classroom. First, take a piece of paper and fold it in fourths. Tear the inside corner so there is a small hole in the middle of the paper when unfolded. Unfold the paper and hold it with both hands at arm’s length. Choose a stationary object and position the paper so the object can be seen through the hole. Slowly bring the paper toward the face. The hole will become centered over the dominant eye. Repeat the test to ensure accuracy. Click on the link below to find more eye dominance tests.

Right eye dominance is much more common than left eye dominance. There are a few people who do not have a dominant eye; they use them both equally well, just as those who are ambidextrous are able to use their right and left hands equally well.

The Dominance Factor: How Knowing Your Dominant Eye, Ear, Brain, Hand, & Foot Can Improve Your Learning
The benefits of assessing eye dominance in motor skill instruction.: An article from: JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance
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Ocular Dominance--Wikipedia
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Content copyright © 2014 by Susan Hart. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Susan Hart. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Celestine A. Jones for details.

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