Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 22 seconds

Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Emotional Overdose in Education Discourse

| 3 Comments

Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 22 seconds

Reading Time: 1

Over the course of a couple of weeks, I have come across three different notions that put emotion/care at the center for teaching and learning. Made me wonder why it’s not common to talk about something so obviously important and central to learning!

Most recently I started reading Mindstorms by Papert (thank you Audrey, hybridped and fedwikihappening folks for bringing him to my attention strangely at the same time) and he talks about his story of falling in love with gears as a kid and how it helped him learn lots of other things.

Earlier I came across Dave Cormier’s post on the importance of learners caring – that nothing else matters if learners couldn’t give a sh*t. Well, yeah! And it’s different from engagement because discourse on engagement to me sounds like the teacher has what they believe is valuable and tries to convince students to enjoy it; whereas care is much more subtle and both complex and simple: it’s where the learner is at, and reaching them there because we care about them as whole people not just as students for a semester.

Last thing which I came across a couple weeks ago but was reminded of today is the newish notion of emotional presence to augment the Community of Inquiry model. That emotional presence is separate from social and teacher presence. Here is Terry Anderson’s post on it (i have strong feelings about how the post and comments are written but will refrain here coz in a hurry).

Anyway -this overload of emotion needed to be recorded and I will come back to discuss it soon, i am sure.

3 Comments

  1. YEARS ago when I trained to be a teacher I found *my* theorist – Carl Rogers. He said it was all about *values* (over pedagogy, over curriculum even): unconditional positive regard (love), congruence (honesty) and empathy (‘getting’ the students’ contexts). That was it for me. Yes – I added Freire (who wouldn’t) – but then he had love too. So – we love our students – and try to show it – get them to feel it and believe it. We try to get them to know and love each other – to build communities of friendship – then the communities of practice and inquiry will naturally grow – they do emerge.
    Here’s what our friend Chris put together of our Week 12 event: http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/epacks/posters-digital/
    That’s our first years – and a few peer mentors – and this was the week that we were told would not work – last week of term – students are off home or bored or tired – just run tutorials… Well – we didn’t. We asked them to produce a Poster Exhibition of their Digital Me Projects.
    We did not show them *how* to do the Digital Me – just showed them some great #edcmooc artefacts and one of Terry Elliot’s brilliant Zeegas – and this is what they did.
    And I think it works because they could harness their love – and tell each other who they were/are… and it could be personal or really digital or a combination of the two.
    And when i got home – I cried…

  2. This is GREAT, Maha – thank you! It is something that I really have worked over the years. A lot of uni faculty equate the emotional factor in teaching with “pandering” to the students (rigor and emotion don’t mix nicely, do they?) … but as I’ve worked on being always positive, always forward-looking, never judging (feedback, but not judging) with my students, I can see the difference. And, of course, that is the way I like to be treated too of course. đŸ™‚

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