This week is a very special week for me because I’m here in Brazil, visiting my mom and enJOYing my family. It was a surprise trip and I got their reactions on tape when they saw me getting to their houses. Love and emotion is everything!
By the way, emotion is one of the topics we studied these past two weeks. We discussed how it influences our learning process, and I believe that emotion is the number one aspect influencing one’s learning. Demetriou & Wilson (2008) states that from early on our emotional development is inextricably intertwined with our acquisition of knowledge (p. 938). Social interaction, class community, student-centered approach, games, projects all make the learning experience meaningful to students. Our reading material for these weeks included David Perkins, a noted authority on teaching and learning and co-director of Harvard's Project Zero who introduces a practical and research-based framework for teaching. He describes how teaching any subject at any level can be made more effective if students are introduced to the "whole game," rather than isolated pieces of a discipline (Wiley, 2009). Perkins (2009) discusses strategies to teach the “hard parts”. He notes that the first time you try to teach anything, teaching smart is almost never smart enough. One just does not know enough initially about what the parts are going to be like. (p. 104). Being aware of the learning process is important to anticipate and teach the hard parts, and at this task, experience comes handy. Elicitation, imaginary, brainstorming and visual aids are key, especially in my field, ESL classes. Extensive practice, whole play and games are also useful techniques to internalization and externalization of content learned.
We also talked about motivation and engagement. Motivation is not only important for students, but also instructor, and research has demonstrated that engaging students in the learning process increases their attention and focus, motivates them to practice higher-level critical thinking skills and promotes meaningful learning experiences. Instructors should adopt student-centered activities and provide plenty of opportunities for engagement. People’s feeling of a real commitment to what they have learned is very important (Perkins, 2009).
We also discussed intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by internal rewards, that is, what we do simply because we like doing it. Extrinsic motivation is doing something for external rewards or to avoid negative consequences. Rewarding for me is when I convert my students’ extrinsic motivation to intrinsic. What starts as an obligation turning into something pleasurable that they want to do.
How Emotions Impact Learning
Demetriou, H., Wilson, E. (2008). A return to the use of emotion and reflection. Teach
and Learn. Vol 21, no 11. Retrieved from www.thepsychologist.org.uk
Engaging students in learning (n.d.). University of Washington Website. Retrieved
Making Learning Whole: How Seven Principles of Teaching Can Transform Education
Perkins, D. N., & February, I. (2009). Making Learning Whole: How Seven Principles of
Teaching Can Transform Education. San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-Bass.
Hi. I'm Raquel Poteet, an ESL and Spanish teacher. My calling is definitely teaching. That's why I decided to further my education. I'm enrolled in my TESOL M. Ed. program at Post University and loving it!