DARE TO SAY IT
EVENT / THEMES
TEXT HENRIKA ANTTILA
INSIDE OUT was a film that allowed the whole world to stop and think about the power of emotions for a while. Now, I ask you to do the same - in the context of learning. Let's go back to your primary school classroom.
It is interesting to recall what kind of spectrum of emotions one person can go through in one, same classroom. My math classes were saturated with negative emotional states. Sometimes (or truth to be told, really often) when it was almost impossible to solve the given exercises, I found myself feeling deep frustration or anxiety.
Then again, inspiration and enthusiasm took me over during the art classes. Learning different painting or drawing techniques was really the thing for me back in the school.
Nowadays emotions and learning are even bigger part of my life: they are the topic of my doctoral dissertation but also experienced widely by the writing process itself.
Sometimes when it was almost impossible to solve the given exercises, I found myself feeling deep frustration or anxiety.
Studies on emotions in schools have found out that positive emotions have been shown to increase pupils school success, study engagement and motivation. The role of peers and teachers emotions also have an impact on pupils learning. We know this from academics, but we are still lacking the concrete ways for creating emotionally optimal learning environments and teachers need help for tackling the challenge.
Fortunately new ways for supporting the learning of empathy and other social and emotional skills are emerging to classrooms.
Examples from that are softwares like MIGHTIFIER and LYFTA, which both are applications designed to support emotional learning.
The variety of emotions that we experienced as children in the classroom haven’t of course gone anywhere while we have grown up and jumped into universities, other schools and working life. Still, too often in the everyday life of workplaces emotions have been considered as a sign for weakness, soft skills, unmeasurable and purely something fluffy. This is, fortunately, now slowly changing.
In many organizations socio-emotional skills are finally seen as key competences. As the AI and automatisation are rapidly developing further, the most valuable human-centric work requires cognitive skills. Computers can do already many jobs better than us, there is still one major thing where people win the machines 10-0: social interaction.
Too often in the everyday life of workplaces emotions have been considered as a sign for weakness, soft skills, unmeasurable and purely something fluffy.
Understanding emotional insights and concrete applications are certainly needed, both in education and in working life. Especially in educational settings emotions have been neglected in academic research for decades. Many of the studies have focused mainly on exploring the test anxiety.
Emotion researchers FEHR and RUSSEL have sum up the problematics of defining the concept of emotion pretty well: "everyone knows what an emotion is, until asked to give a definition”. Whatever definition we decide to use, the connection between emotions and learning is remarkable. Maybe we need more colorful movie characters to remind us of that?
We are facing crucial questions:
Should emotions and emotional skills be taught at school?
Should emotions be taught at the University level too, as part of for example teacher education or in the medical school?
Should emotional insights be taken into center stage in organizational development, leadership or customer experience design?
What do you think? How do we tackle this? Come and share your thoughts with us!