Learning and Your Emotions
Can emotional states really affect your ability to learn?
How Information Travels Through The Brain
When information first enters the organ inside our head we call the brain, it starts at the reticular activating system (RAS). This is the first filter in your brain, which is also known as the gatekeeper.The next set or filters information goes through is the limbic system, which contains the amygdala and the hippocampus. That is the emotional part of the brain. After the limbic system comes dopamine. Dopamine is one of the brain's most important neurotransmitters, and you produce more of it when an experience is enjoyable. If information passes through all the way, it makes it to the prefrontal cortex, or the thinking brain(Judy Willis "What You Should Know About Your Brain").
The Role of Emotions in Learning
When it comes to tests and public speaking, a wide range of emotions can be expected. If a child is scared, they are most likely going to forget things that they already know. According to greatschools.org, ".sadly, in many of today’s classrooms, we see children whose intellectual energies and capacities are drained by negative emotional states." this can be very true, and schools need to address this a lot more.
ways to address emotions in the classroom
- At the start of class each day, students should be asked to tell the class one good thing that happened the day before.
- A good way to unwind during class is to have a five minute break between lessons so they can talk to friends and maybe ask questions if they didn't understand the lesson.
- There should be at least one quiet time during class for those kids who are easily distracted during class to read, draw,etc
- have a "mailbox" in a corner of the room for students to write letters to the teacher if they have a personal issue, or are feeling down, so you can know if there is something wrong.
- Reward students who did good in the classes once a week, to motivate them to do their work and behave well.