Approaching learning from emotion allows us to get the attention and the joy of learning back, discover new tools, question the teachers and transform the learning process itself.
Neither academic nor emotional, what happens between these two learning approaches?
Both academic and emotional learnings have lived together uncoordinated within the same cognitive system throughout History. From the Romantic impulse to Platonic suspicion, the relationship between thought and emotion has been ever-changing: getting close, getting away or being the same thing. Science states that we are rational and emotional at the same time and highlights the emotional side as a key element to consolidate knowledge.
Tools to encourage learning from emotion
In order to achieve the most effective and long-term solid learning, we need not only to boost learning from emotion, but also to foster emotional well-being. How can we do that?
There are several disciplines, resources and tools that can help us in this regard:
Movement: dopamine, the hormone we secrete when doing sport, is one of the brain’s neurotransmitters and it is not only related to pleasure’s sensation. It is also crucial in memory and learning adjustments.Without it, we would have neither curiosity nor motivation. So, foster movement in the classroom without a doubt!
Arts: They streghten brain’s development within sensory, motor, emotional and learning environments. Drawing makes children connect with their inner selves and express themselves. The same goes for music and theatre.
Group activities: We are social beings and our brain makes learning from emotion more effective when approached in group than autonomously. Therefore, any activity involving interaction and cooperation helps to engage emotional areas that are crucial for learning.
Cooperative learning is key to facilitating emotions and enhancing important skills for personal growth:
Decision making: As we experience feelings, we develop self-awareness with the information we have obtained from emotion over the years. That way, self-awareness makes us better at assessing and considering the possibilities and consequences of a given decision.
Empathy and expression: Working from emotions takes group consciousness, equality and empathy into account and also allows individual expression.
Memory: Its training is crucial for a complete and solid learning. Emotion stimulates cumulative and relational learning and informs us about our mood. So, taking time to think about our feelings and the lessons we have learned from them, and also thinking about how to implement what has been learned in other areas, improves memory.
Motivation and attention: Emotion is not only about the ability to know or to be able to do something, but also about willing to do it. The attention span is limited and humour, stories and games boost realisation, involvement and curiosity.
Facilitating learning from emotion is one of the challenges that all professionals related to education should consider as a goal to build a healthier and wiser society.