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1. “Emotion” drives learning

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1 1. “Emotion” drives learning on Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:31 pm

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As Damasio (1994) established two decades ago, emotion is not a sideline attraction in the brain, it is fundamental in all cognitive processing. In a nutshell, what excites the brain is what gets processed and therefore gains potential for future recall -- not a guarantee, but a potential for future recall. Moreover, boring information is often lost before any significant processing occurs in the brain. Therefore, the more emotion attached to learning, the more potential it has have being useful in the future.

What is the difference between emotion and feelings? From the neuro-educator's perspective, think of emotion as the body's automatic reaction to stimuli. and of feelings are the results derived from higher level thinking. These two quite often clash and are the cause of confusion and in severe cases, mental illnesses.

Q. Do you understand the emotion vs feelings dichotomy and see why this maxim makes sense?

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2 Re: 1. “Emotion” drives learning on Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:28 pm

Hi,
I have two quotes from "How the Brain Learns" (Sousa) that might be insightful:
"...emotions usually have a higher priority than cognitive processing for commanding our attention..." (page 154).

"....teachers should strive to bond positive feelings to new learnings so that students feel competent and can enjoy the process..." (page 154).

'If the teacher looks interested, then the students will be interested' may be very true for this maxim. My past learning experience of high school French was very negative. The teacher always looked like he wanted to be somewhere else and he never seemed 'excited' about teaching us another language. However, my first year geography teacher was so interested in what she had to teach us that I studied geography up until I was 18. Her positive emotions about the subject and teaching it definitely had a positive effect on me. 

Those quotes and my learning experiences have given me food-for-thought in relation to my teaching and if the students associate positive emotions in my classroom.

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3 Re: 1. “Emotion” drives learning on Fri Sep 26, 2014 5:10 pm

Hi, I have copied an address to an interesting article related to teenagers and their behaviour, which I thought would be a good read for all of us here!!


http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/sep/05/teenage-brain-behaviour-prefrontal-cortex

If my rudimentary PC skills do not let you access this article, please let me know and I will email a copy of the article that I have on a Word document.

Sharon

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