The Importance of Emotions in the Classroom: Challenges and Opportunities

Joaquin Espinosa

Facilitated by Joaquin Espinosa, Associate Professor of Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology

The classroom is an emotionally charged place. On the first day of class, both the instructor and students arrive to the classroom with a wide range of emotions that can either impair or enhance learning, depending on how they are managed. Fear is usually rampant. The instructor may be afraid of the students, of not doing a good job, of students not understanding the topics, of covering too little or too much material, of situations running out of control. Students bring their own fears. They may be afraid of the instructor and other students, of not understanding the material, of not getting good grades. Fear must not be ignored, as it may turn into anxiety, anger and aggression and block learning. Fear must be acknowledged and managed to the point where it becomes its opposite: joy. The classroom can become a joyful and exhilarating place for everyone. In this workshop we will discuss some strategies to turn fear into joy. We will explore how non-violent communication, humor and vulnerability transform the classroom into a powerful learning environment.

The FTEP Symposia are designed and provided for our instructional faculty members. If you plan to participate in a symposium conducted by a presenter whose college is different from your own, please be prepared to adapt the recommended teaching tools to the needs of your own discipline.

Wednesday, Oct. 31, 3 - 4:30 p.m., this event will be held in ATLAS 200.


Contact: Mary Ann Shea, Director, Faculty Teaching Excellence Program

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