Left Handedness, The Bible and The Quran: Implications for Parents and Teachers | Open Access Journals

Left Handedness, The Bible and The Quran: Implications for Parents and Teachers

Alhassan AB*

Department of Education, Sule Lamido University, Jigawa Sate, Nigeria

*Corresponding Author:
Alhassan AB
Department of Education, Sule Lamido University
Jigawa Sate, Nigeria
Tel: +0796709268
E-mail: alhassanayaniyibako2@yahoo.com

Received date: 30/12/2016; Accepted date: 04/02/2017; Published date: 11/02/2017

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Abstract

This paper is about a little studied aspect of Humanity and one of the last unorganized minorities in society. It x-rayed handedness and its types. The frequency of left-handedness is greater in Euro-American than in oriental cultures and restrictions on using left hand are ingrained in the belief system and social interpretation in a given culture. The descriptive research approach was used to unravel what the Bible and the Quran say about Left-Handedness. The right hand is mentioned positively 100 times in the Bible, while the left hand is mentioned only 25 times, all negatively. The Bible’s emphasis on ‘the right hand’ is a reflection of reality. The dominant hand is always stronger than the other arm, and 90 per cent of people are right handed. By implication, in the vast majority of people, the right hand is stronger. Thus, the Bible uses the right hand as a symbol of strength and honor (and stated that) in the left hand are riches and honor. The Sunnah of the Prophet illustrated that it is desirable to use the right hand in everything that we wish to honor. Handwriting is a highly valued and prized skill. The position of the Qur’an is that the child can write with his/her left hand without any problem. It is unnecessary to insist upon the child writing with his/her right hand or using the right hand when engaging in other activities requiring of extra degree of manual dexterity. For a lefthanded child to use his/her right hand for such acts can have detrimental consequences for the child’s confidence, education and self-esteem. In light of the findings of this study, the paper recommended that a parent should make left-handedness feel like a blessing instead of a curse by treating it as one thing that makes a child distinct and special. Thinking outside the box is a specialty of lefties, which translate well to problem solving at school and in the society. Teacher training institutions should ensure that every teacher is trained to recognize and provide for the needs of the left-handed children.

Keywords

Handedness, Right-hand, Left-hand, Bible, Qur’an, Parents, Teachers

Introduction

The percentage of the population who are left-handed is about 10%. Researchers postulate that the proportion of lefthanders has remained constant for over 30,000 years. Various scientists have commented on this steal anomaly. For example, Amar Klar, a scientist who has worked on handedness, stated that left-handed people, ‘have a wider scope of thinking’, and pointed to the disproportionately higher number of Nobel Prize winners, writers, and painters who are left-handed. Michael Peters, a neuropsychologist at the University of Guelph, pointed out that left-handed people have to get by in a world adapted to right-handers, something which can give them extra-mental resilience, Women are more likely to be right-handed than men by about 4 percentage points [1].

Although approximately 90% of all humans are right-handed, cats, rats, and mice that show handedness seem to be equally split between right-and left-pawedness. Some scholars note that left-handers may be one of the last unorganized minorities in society because they have no collective power and no real sense of common identity. Left-handers are often discriminated against by social, educational and religious institutions. Social customs and even language set the left-hander apart as ‘different’ and even ‘bad’. Medieval Jewish Philosopher Maimonides listed 100 blemishes a Jewish priest could not have, and being lefthanded was one of them. According to tradition, an itchy left-hand indicated you will lose money. An itchy right-hand indicates you will receive money.

Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study were to:

1. Examine a line of scholarly activity that is ignored in the educational realm in developing countries.

2. Identify what the Bible say about left-handedness.

3. Isolate what the Qur’an say about left-handedness.

4. Recommend what parents should do about left-handed children.

5. Suggest how teachers can meet the needs of left-handed children in the classroom.

Research Questions

The research was guided by the following questions:

1. What is handedness?

2. How many types of handedness do we have?

3. What does the Bible say about right hand and left hand?

4. What does the Qur’an say about right hand and left hand?

5. What must parents do to their left-handed children?

6. How can teachers meet the needs of left-handed pupils/students?

Research Design

This study used the descriptive research approach. According to studies, there are many variations for descriptive research. The following categories are common: i) detailed presentation, ii) longitudinal descriptive and iii) selected description. The category of detailed description was employed for the study. One of the most frequently used designs within the empirical research methodology models is the descriptive survey method design.

Conceptual Clarifications

Studies stated that handedness is ability in using one hand more skillfully than, and in preference to, the other. Handedness is a better (faster or more precise) performance or individual preference for use of a hand, known as dominant hand. Handedness is not a discrete variable (left or right), but a continuous one that can be expressed at levels between strong left and strong right. Handedness is observed quite early in human development. Tests of fetuses (using-ultra sound) show 92% sucking their right thumbs, a figure that mirror prevalence in the adult population.

There are four types of handedness - Left handedness, Right-handedness; Mixed-handedness, and Ambidexterity. Lefthandedness is somewhat more common among men than among women. Right-handedness or dexterity is an estimable trait very different from being left-handed or sinister. True ambidexterity occurs in less than one per cent of the population.

Thus, it is exceptionally rare, although it can be learned. A truly ambidextrous person is able to do any task equally well with either hand. Those who learn it still tend to favor their originally dominant hand. Mixed-handedness is the change of hand preference between tasks. This is common in the population with about thirty per cent prevalence.

Being left-handed implies having a preference for using the left hand for a variety of tasks, reaching, throwing, pointing, and catching. Left handedness is an interesting, and sometimes troubling phenomenon. It is if you are a student trying to sit in a right-handed desk; or trying to use a right-handed potato peeler or right-handed scissors, or a right-handed mouse- or any of the right-handed devices. It is if you get bad marks from your teacher because of handwriting.

The word left in English comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lyft, which means weak or broken. The Oxford English Dictionary defines left-handed as meaning crippled, defective, awkward, clumsy, inapt, and characterized by underhanded dealings, ambiguous, doubtful, questionable, ill-omened, inauspicious, and illegitimate. Phrases in English suggest a negative view of lefthandedness [2]. For example, a left-handed compliment is actually an insult. A ‘left-handed marriage’ is not a marriage but an adulterous sexual liaison, as in a left-handed honeymoon with someone else’s husband. A ‘left-handed wife’ is actually a mistress. It is if you analyze terminology such as: Left-handed compliment, left-wing, out in left field, or in French, gauche, German, Linkish, Russian, Levja, Latin, Sinistra, none of which are especially complimentary. It is interesting to note in the dictionary definition that left-handed also implies being clumsy and awkward. This is not borne out in practice. It is true that left-handers have difficulty using right- handed tools, such as scissors, and for this reason might appear clumsy, but when right-handers try to use left-hand tools, they appear even clumsier.

Why are Left-Handers Rare?

It is obvious that lefthanders are few in the general population. This generates a relevant question: why are lefties rare? Scientists have long wondered why left-handed people are a rarity. Stories about being slapped on the wrist for being a lefty, there must be some deeper, evolutionary reason, scientists figure. A new study suggests lefties are rare because of the balance between cooperation and competition in human evolution. The findings come from some data generated from the sports world. Representing only 10 percent of the general human population, left handers have been viewed with suspicion and persecuted across history [3]. Researchers at North Western University, USA reported that a high degree of cooperation, not something odd or sinister, plays a key role in the rarity of left handedness - both right handers – are the first to use real-world data (from competitive sports) to test and confirm the hypothesis that social behavior is related to population- level handedness. The more social the animal – where cooperation is highly valued–the more the general population will trend toward one side’. The most important factor for an efficient society is a high degree of cooperation. In humans, this has resulted in a right-handed majority.

Cultural Perspectives

Gooch highlights the fact that in vast majority of cultures, from every continent like Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and America, the ‘left’ is normally associated with feminist and the ‘right’ with masculinity. Left handedness is extensively disapproved in most cultures. Ancient Greeks and Romans considered the left as imperfect and blasphemous. In 19th century Europe, homosexuals were referred to as ‘left-handed’ whilst in protestant nations, Roman Catholics were called ‘left-footers’. In some parts of Scotland, it is considered bad luck to meet a left-handed person at start of a journey. In addition, there is a saying in Scotland that describes an unlucky person. He must have been baptized by a left-handed Priest. In Ghana, pointing, gesturing, giving or receiving items with the left-hand is considered taboo or rude. People of the Andes consider lefthanders to possess special spiritual abilities, including magic and healing. Due to culture and social pressure, many left-handed children are encouraged or forced to write and perform other acts with their right hands. This conversion can cause multiple problems in the developing left-handed child, including learning disorders, dyslexia and other speech disorders. There are two divergent theories regarding wearing the wedding ring on the left hand. One theory is that it started with the ancient Egyptians, who believe that despite the left hand’s supposed flaws, placing the ring on this hand brought it nearer to the heart. Another theory attributes the origin to the Greeks and Romans who wore the rings to ward off evil associated with the left-hand.

Data established in a series of studies that about 10% of humans are left-handed, though the prevalence rate varies due to sex, age, and cultural geographical locations. Research reveals that the frequency of left-handedness is greater in Euro-American than in Oriental (India, Japan and China) cultures and restrictions on using left hand are ingrained in the belief system and social interpretation in a given culture [4]. In Britain, around 13 percent of men and 11 percent of women are now left-handed, compared to just 3 percent of those born before 1910, while about 30 million people in the United States are left-handed. In the past, there was often pressure to change left-handed people into right-handers. In fact, some educators in the early part of this century in the United States referred to left handedness as a disease and efforts were made to ‘cure’ the disease. Children were often hit across the knuckles if they were caught using their left hands. This attitude find succinct expression in Keith Milson, a left hander who runs the website with his wife and fellow leftie Lauren, who stated attitudes, had changed only recently.

In the early days of trying to understand dyslexia, especially the tendency to perceive and write words and letters in reverse, some educators recommended suppressing left hand activities in order to try and establish the dominance of the left hemisphere of the brain. Educators currently realize that both hemispheres contribute to the process of learning and suppressing lefthandedness is counterproductive. Every race/ethnic group has its customs. Adhering to societal customs and ethos is important, as it makes the community to be cohesive and peaceful. But when a custom is practiced out of ignorance, discrimination, injustice, and so on it should be jettisoned. For example, it was ignorance that made the killings of twins accepted as a custom in Calabar, Nigeria, because it was believed that only animals gave birth in twos; whereas, in traditional African families, children are a blessing and they represent affirmation of man’s continuing existence and prosperity [5]. It took the intervention of Marry Slessor from England who persuaded the people against such a custom and eventually convinced them that what they were doing was wrong and inhuman. Years later, Nigerians were not permitted to kill twins. However, despite the advent of Christianity and Islam with the attendant change in way of life, villages in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) still indulge in the old practice of killing of twins. The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) reported that the killing of twins also called infanticide still occurs in some remote villages, such as Yaba, Gulida, Gomani, Tepase, Dawaki, Warambi, Kiyi and Shetuko. The Director of Information and Communications, Mrs Stella Ojeme, led the three week advocacy campaign against the scourge. When slavery was practiced, those who sold and bought human beings as slaves justified it. The American Civil War that raged from 1861 to 1865 was not because the north was killing the south or oppressing them politically, but simply because Abraham Lincoln, who opposed slavery, had won an election and his stance threatened the economy of the slave states of the south. Even after Lincoln won that war, some people felt so angry with him for stopping their custom of making their fellow human beings slaves that one of such people assassinated Lincoln six days after the war.

In Nigeria, people are inclined to view left-handedness as worst and as a sign of evil or at best an expectantly curable adversity. The left hand is still demonized as unlucky, evil, clumsy, and so on.

Not only, it is seen as disrespectful to accept or give someone anything with the left- hand. About half a century ago, in Japan, left- handedness in a wife was thought to be more than enough for divorce. Only a decade ago in Taiwan, left-handed people were highly supported to being right or at least to write with the right hand [6]. In South America, the right hand is regarded as good, life and divine but the left is bad, evil and morose. Similarly, among North American Indians, the right hand stands for bravery and virility but the left death and interment. The organization that cares for the needs of left-handed people globally is discussed in the next section of this paper.

International Left-Handers Day

The International Left-handers Day is held annually every August 13th. The 13th was chosen to poke fun at superstitions surrounding left-handedness which survived to modern times. It was founded by the Left-handers Club in 1992, with the Club itself having been founded in 1990. International Left-Handers Day is, according to the club, ‘an annual event when left-handers everywhere can celebrate their sinistrality (meaning left-handedness) and increase public awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed. Again according to the Club, ‘in the United Kingdom alone there were over 20 regional events to mark the day in 2001- including Left-V- Right sports matches, A left-handed Tea party, and nationwide ‘Lefty Zones’ where lefthanders’ creativity, adaptability and sports prowess were celebrated, whilst right-handers were encouraged to try out every day left-handed objects to see just how awkward it can feel using the wrong equipment [7]. The International lefthanders Day of 13th August 2015 was used as a platform to get publicity about it in print, television and online media around the world.

Rationale for the Study

Children have been described both as ‘the wealth of a nation’ and ‘the pride of a nation’, and this is especially true of Nigeria where a large proportion of the population is under fifteen. Nigeria’s young population is a potential capital source of joy that should be carefully developed and preserved. But this cannot be achieved if the fact of left-handedness and ambidextrous among pupils is overlooked. The most important element in all of education is the element of individual differences. Though the study of human variability is not a new field of inquiry, but this line of scholarly activity has been strangely neglected or ignored in the educational realm, particularly in the developing countries. Classroom teachers are, and have been, somewhat adept at providing for the needs of left-handers within our schools. This aspect of teaching task is becoming increasingly more difficult, since increasing numbers of left-handed pupils are in attendance. The contemporary teacher comes into daily contact with much larger number of pupils than ever before. The educational process ceases to be enjoyable to this neglected minority. It is necessary to realize that while textual learning is important, the learning of self-confidence, cooperation, curiosity, persistence, inferiority, alienation and so on, is more important in order to develop a wholesome personality. Besides the home, the school engages children for most part of their waking lives. If the school experiences are unpleasant, it could be most unfortunate for the child. This study is therefore of value for right-handed parents, teachers, employers, physicians, design engineers, students, as well as left-handers and ambidextrous of all ages, including educational policy makers and implementers. Parents want what is best for their children, teachers strive to maximize individuals potential to learn, employers strive to maximize their profit, and manufacturers want their products to sell. The hope is for parents, educators, employers, and manufacturers to understand that the best way to achieve their goals is by listening to left-handers and ambidextrous and providing for their needs [8].

What does the Bible Say about Right-Hand and Left-Hand?

The right hand is mentioned positively 100 times in the Bible, while the left hand is mentioned only 25 times, all negatively. In the book of Exodus 15:6, Psalm 118;16 of the New International Version (NIV) the Bible presents the right hand as the hand of strength. Sitting at someone’s right hand is considered a position of honor. The right hand is consequently valued over the left hand in the Bible. But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the first born. Since the right hand indicated the stronger blessing, it was inferred that God favors the right hand in other matters as well. Obviously, left-handedness is as old as Biblical times: ‘Again the Israelites (God’s chosen race) cried out to the Lord, and he gave them a deliverer- Ehud, a left-handed man, the son of Gera the Benjamite. Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king’s belly’. Thus Ehud assassinated Eglon, King of Moab. Ehud rose to become the second Judge in Israel. He ruled Israel for eighty (80) years. In addition, Judges 20:16 mentioned 700 left-handed warriors who could ‘sling a stone at a hair and not miss’ that is with deadly accuracy. In this connection, Professor Boyd Seevers and Joanna Klein asked the relevant question, ‘were these warriors from the tribe of Benjamin left-handed by nature or nurture? Citing studies in the genetics of left-handedness and Biblical texts, Seevers and Klein showed that it may have been a bit of both [9].

Benjamites might have been genetically disposed to left-handedness at birth, but the trait may also have been encouraged in soldiers to give them a strategic advantage in combat some-what like left-handed baseball pitchers today-against right-handed opponents who were unaccustomed to fighting ‘Lefties’. Warriors from the tribe of Benjamin might have been trained to be equally or more effective with their left hands. First Chronicles 12:2 seems to reference bowmen who were ambidextrous. When the Bible refers to left-handed people, it speaks of left-handedness as an advantage, not a weakness. While it is not as honorable as sitting at someone’s right hand, sitting at the left hand is still a position of honor. In many religions, including Christianity, the right hand of God is the favored hand. For example ‘after the Lord Jesus, had spoken to them (the Eleven disciples) he was taken up into the heaven and he sat at the right hand of God’. God’s left hand, however, is the hand of judgment.

The Archangel Gabriel is sometimes called ‘God’s left hand’; sits at God’s left side, and is one of six angels of death’. Those who fall from favor with God are sent to left, as described, in which sheep represent the righteous and goats represent the fallen: ‘And he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divided his sheep from the goats’. And he shall set the sheep on his right, but the goats on his left’. Both the Jewish and Christian traditions are strongly right-handed in their nature and practices. For Catholics, Anglicans, Episcopalians, and other denominations, the priest must present the communion water with the right hand, and the communicant accepts it with the right hand. All benedictions must be made with right hand, and a priest symbolizes the ‘strong right hand of God. It is imperative to note that the Bible’s emphasis on ‘the right hand’ is simply a reflection of reality. The dominant hand is always stronger than the other arm, and about 90 percent of people are right handed. By implication, in the vast majority of people, the right hand is stronger [10-13]. Thus, the Bible uses the right hand as a symbol of strength and honor. The position of this paper is that this does not carry any negative connotations of left handed people. This should not be understood as a slight against left-handed people. It is simply a matter of symbolism. This has to be so because whenever the Bible mentions left handed people, it does not present left handedness as a weakness. This position is explicitly supported by the Bible in Proverbs 3:13, 14,16: ‘Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding. For she is more profitable than silver.

Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor’.

What does the Qur’an Say about Right-Hand and Left-Hand?

It is more appropriate to hold the Qur’an with right hand as it is a sign of honor to it. The Sunnah of the Prophet illustrated that it is desirable to use right hand in everything that we wish to honor. Aa’ishah said: ‘That the prophet used to prefer to start with the right hand or right side (Over the left) when putting on his shoes, combing his hair, putting on perfume, and in all his matters’. The prophet used his right hand applying perfume, in eating, and used his left hand in the toilet or when removing any harm’. AL-‘Izz Ibn ’Abdus-Salaam, spoke eloquently about the desirability of using the right hand saying. ‘There is no doubt encountering what is honorable with what is honorable is something good (reasonable) in mind’. Finally, we have to say, however, that we do not know of any person of knowledge who gave a Fatwa that it is impermissible or dislikeable to hold or carry the Qur’an with the left hand. Allah knows the best. It is also important to note that Abdullah reported Allah’s Messenger having said: Do not eat with your left hand, for the Satan eats with the left hand. In many Islamic countries, people are forbidden to eat with their left hand which is considered ‘unclean’ because it is used for cleaning the body after defecation. In addition, ‘public display’ or use of the left hand is against the law in some Islamic countries, including Saudi Arabia. Therefore, it is obligatory for a Muslim to eat with his/her right hand. It is impermissible for the Muslim to eat with left hand. The Prophet saw a man eating with his left hand and ordered him to eat with his right hand. When the man said he could not do so, the Prophet said ‘may you never do so’. From that time forward, the man lost his ability to raise his right hand [14].

It is important to state that the position of the Qur’an is that the child can write with his/her left hand without any problem. Ulama have said that it is permissible to write with the left hand. Besides eating and drinking which should be done with the right hand, there is no harm in doing everything else with the left hand. It is unnecessary to insist upon the child writing with his/her right hand or using the right hand when engaging in other activities requiring an extra degree of manual dexterity. For a left-handed child to use his/her right hand for such activities can have detrimental consequences for the child’s confidence, education and self-esteem. And Allah knows best. Across history, children suffer persecution, rejection and abuse during their early days of Education because of being left-handed [15]. Some were traumatized and beaten by school teachers when they were young, because they had totally failed to adjust and was writing with their left hands. Forcing someone to write with their unnatural hand is barbaric. Some people who have been forced to write right-handed have developed a stutter later in life. King George VI of England was. It is to be noted that attempts to switch handedness by educational training far from weakening the functional expression of left-handedness in higher-order motor areas of the (dominant) right hemisphere in fact enhance it. Many Asian countries encourage or force their children to become right handed due to cultural perceptions of bad luck associated with the left-hand. In India and Indonesia, it is considered rude to eat with the left hand.

In a 2007, study in Taiwan, 59.3 percent of children studied had been forced to convert from left-handedness to righthandedness. The study took into account economic status of the children’s families and found that children whose parents had less education were more likely to be forced to convert. Even among children whose parents had higher levels of education, the conversation rate was 45.7 percent.

What are the implications of the foregoing discussion for education? This seems to be a question which comes readily to the lips of professional educationists. Taylor in an essay, Towards a Strategy for Education, suggests that this is so because there is a generally shared belief that education at all levels is in both complex and direct ways in the business of life [16].

What should Parents do?

Discrimination against the left-hand is not our custom. It is a pure case of injustice that is based on misconception. We must stop it right. No hand is evil, no hand is more blessed. That our heart (the engine of our life) is slightly to the left side of our chest should tell us that if there were to be any lucky hand or side, it should actually be the left. Fortunately, there has never been a better time to be left-handed. Life is now made easier by tools such as left hand friendly school supplies (pencil, grips, tri-tip crayons, and scissors). For a parent whose child is interested in music as a hobby, left handed guitars are available. A parent should make left-handedness feel like a blessing instead of a curse by treating it as one thing that makes a child distinct and special. Thinking outside the box is a specialty of lefties, which translates well to problem solving at school and in the society.

Parents should keep their children in good company. They should look to the past to remind their children that they are in good company with Benjamin Franklin who was so proud of his left-handedness that he wrote a whole treatise in favor of the left hand. Parents can also point out that five of the recent United States Presidents are left-handers Gerald Ford, Ronald Regan, George HW Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Other amazing innovative performers and scientists, such as Aristotle, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Prime Ministers Winston Churchill, David Cameron of Britain, Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel including power houses Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey are lefties. Parents should not let their left-handed children feel left out. They should help them feel comfortable and special by developing their left hand skills for writing and playing sports [17-19].

What is the Role of Teacher Training Institutions?

In the light of the foregoing discourse, it is essential for every teacher to be trained to recognize the needs of the left-handed children. This position finds expression and reported the concern of Peter Luff, a former Conservative Defense Minister in the United Kingdom as having argued that teacher training and the national curriculum should be over hauled so that children are given the space and ‘correct implements’ to achieve the same results as right handed pupils. As he sees it, the current lack of understanding is leaving the ‘self-esteem and self-worth’ of left-handed children at risk as they often end up struggling with right handed scissor, or having cramped, illegible handwriting, because teachers are unaware of their differing needs [20]. The former Conservative Defense Minister said children were left feeling ‘clumsy and awkward’ in the classroom and on the sports field and were not being able to reach their full creative potential. A simple set of guidelines should be introduced into the mandatory teacher training that takes into account the ‘slightly different needs’ of those children who favor their left hand. As he succinctly puts it, they are not clumsy, they are not awkward, and they are just using the wrong instrument.

There is the need for teacher training institutions to give more consideration to the requirement of left-handed children and to help raise teachers’ awareness of the issues. There are a few simple things teachers can do in the classroom to make a dramatic difference to lefthanders in their early years at school and avoid problems as they develop through the education system. These are:

i) Sitting a left-handed child on the left side of writing areas so they do not bump elbows with the child next to them.

ii) Demonstrating a correct writing grip and encouraging an effective writing position.

iii) Having left-handed scissors available and know how to use them.

iv) Understanding that left-handers will form some letters in a different direction to right handed.

As studies, succinctly puts it, these things do not happen as a matter of course [21-23]. Often it is only when the teacher is left-handed or the parents of the left-handed child really push for changes that the left-handed children get the proper advice and help they need [24-26]. Understanding the need of the left-handed children and how to help them is supposed to be part of the Teacher Training Curriculum in the United Kingdom, (and indeed elsewhere), but it seems to get little attention in practice. What do we expect in developing countries in general and Nigeria in particular?

Handwriting could be improved if left handed children were taught to write by angling the paper properly, relaxing their arms and positioning themselves on the right side of the desk. Changing those little things could do a lot for children’s self-esteem and self-worth [27]. What hand you favor should be the first question that a child is asked when they enter a classroom so that teachers can give them the right support. Usually the left-hand child needs to be taught how to write correctly with the left hand, since discovering a comfortable left-hand writing method on one’s own may not be straight forward. Handwriting is a skill that cannot be dispensed with because it also helps to develop the neuro-muscular coordination and mental ability of the child. Handwriting is the foundation of all writing and when it is well handled, the primary school pupils are equipped for all the writing skills they will require to function at all the levels of the education system [28].

Conclusion

The paper attempted to clarify the concept of handedness and types of handedness. Left-handedness is extensively disapproved in most cultures. Left-Handers International, the organization responsible for formulating the “Bill of Lefts”, was organized to protect the needs and interests of left-handers everywhere. It is driven by thirteen Articles. The International Left- Handers Day is held annually every August 13th, when left-handers everywhere can celebrate their sinistrality of being lefthanded. The right hand is mentioned positively 100 times in the Bible, the left hand is mentioned only 25 times, all negatively while it also presented the right hand as a symbol of strength and honor, in the left-hand are riches and honor. However, God’s left hand is the hand of judgment.

The Sunnah of the Prophet illustrate that it is desirable to use right hand in everything that we wish to honor. The position of the Qur’an is that the child can write with his/her left hand without any problem. It is unnecessary to insist upon the child writing with his/her right hand or using the right hand in engaging the other activities requiring an extra degree of manual dexterity to avoid detrimental consequences for the child’s confidence, education and self-esteem. In the light of the foregoing discussion, the paper recommended what parents need to do to make left-handedness feel like a blessing instead of curse and suggested that teacher training institutions should train every teacher to recognize and provide for the needs of the left-handed children. Parents and teachers also need to be aware of the potential impact of self-esteem because of certain popular beliefs and myths and the strong dominance of right-handedness in our society. Positive attitudes of parents and teachers as well as positive role models, can help the child accept left-handedness as a special expression of God’s creativity.

References