Emotions, Learning and the Brain
Date posted: May 9, 2016
What role do feelings play in the brain’s learning process? We know that learning is supported when students are emotionally engaged in material that is personally relevant. Ideas about how this works are described in Emotions, Learning and the Brain: exploring the educational implications of affective neuroscience by Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, an affective neuroscientist, human development psychologist, and former school teacher.
Two ideas that are explored:
- Emotions are such powerful motivators of learning because they activate brain mechanisms that originally evolved to manage our basic survival.
- Meaningful thinking and learning are inherently emotional, because we only think deeply about things we care about.
Together, these insights suggest that in order to motivate students for academic learning, produce deep understanding, and ensure the transfer of educational experiences into real-world skills and careers, educators must find ways to leverage the emotional aspects of learning.
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