Thinking: It’s Emotional #ETMOOC

I’ve met some fantastic and caring people in this first week of  #ETMOOC .

I’ve already posted about how Ben Wilkoff has guided me.

I’ve also met Lorraine Boulos, a fellow middle school teacher. We’ve discussed so much about inquiry based learning and blogging, and feel a common bond in how we enjoy teaching students through inquiry and despite the pressures of testing.

That conversation infers building relationships with students and nurturing their passions — what they want to learn so they can learn what we’re required to teach.

That then led me to choosing the bit info about cognition and emotion which Linda Permik wrote about in her post Setting Sail Master of My Own Ship. She embedded a thoughtful video by Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang on the topic. In order to build relationships, in order to engage students in learning, their emotional needs must be addressed — “real thinking is never divorced from emotion.” Be sure to watch the video (about 10 min). So, how do we deal with students who shut down in frustration? How do we deal with standardized tests? The suggestion is to design a context so students are engaged from the ground up and “discover on their own what you want them to learn.” That provides the hook for continuing the other lessons needed. I think Lorraine has a head start on that context design through inquiry based learning.

Linda asks questions also, two of which are:

  • “What implications does the emotion-cognition connection have for learners in our formal learning institutions?
  • How do we as instructors support the emotional engagement that leads to positive learning outcomes?”

Be sure to connect with these two if you are interested in inquiry and emotion. Perhaps that topic is worthy of it’s own “Google Circle” discussion topic and possible action. I hope to continue the conversation with them — won’t you join us?

I wonder:

How do you help students with learning to keep their emotional thinking open to learning?

Do you have samples of inquiry based learning?

Do you blog with your class (through inquiry? to build community?)



on “Thinking: It’s Emotional #ETMOOC
4 Comments on “Thinking: It’s Emotional #ETMOOC
  1. Sheri:
    I agree that we have had a very supportive beginning to etmooc, and I appreciate your sentiments very much–as well as the links for further investigation on the emotional/cognitive relationship. I’ll look at those asap. I’ve tried to encourage an awareness of the necessary intersections of thinking and feeling in my interactions with students at a small rural college in Oregon. I teach sociology, which by its nature raises provocative questions about social issues that divide us deeply as peoples. Discussions about race, gender, sexuality, social class, disability, religion, culture all can challenge students’ ability to make strong and deeply felt assertions while at the same time respecting others’ views. The question of emotional safety often arises. Often the majority white students say they do not feel “safe” in discussions on race, and similarly heterosexual students with regard to discussions of sexual identity. In contrast, those students who have lived on the margins of the majority culture often feel unsafe in the “regular” day to day operations of a university, so the fact that a teacher would openly and positively address the experience of marginality can make them feel safer. As a learning facilitator, I still need to address the “safety” question for all the students. Understanding how thinking and emotion works to facilitate or hinder learning and connection is really important. I hope to join the conversation about this.
    @RosemaryFPowers —

    • Thanks Rosemary, I wish that all students in college were required to take a course such as yours. I know my experience was an eye-opener for a midwestern city girl. And I choose courses in my teaching career to help me deal with the issues you’ve explained so well. I am so glad for this string of conversation as it is important when students begin their connected journey. Whatever our influences and perceptions, we always have room to expand our understandings. Thanks for joining and inspiring this conversation. Sheri @grammasheri

  2. I’ve been very attracted to inquiry based learning and PBL ( P=passion based) as a way to get students involved. Someone else that you may be interested in following is Shelly Wright, I first connected with her when we took a course together and I have been following her blogs ever since. Shelley describes her transformation as a teacher as she experimented with PBL. My understanding of PBL is more theoretical than practical as I don’t get into the classroom very often but I am open to further dialogue on the emotion/cognition connection,

    • Thanks for the tip about Shelley. I see she is a consultant now, and not in the classroom either. I have already bookmarked one of her posts for further reading. My friend Denise Krebs @mrsdkrebs is very much into passion-based education and promotes #geniushour as a way for students to engage in and discover their passions. I look forward to learning with you, as we help our students understand their thinking/emotional processes.

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