Surprise, fascination, intrigue, excitement, and admiration can be key sensations for integrating new knowledge and learning. When confronted with fear or obsolete learning strategies, enjoying learning is the best way for children to learn and retain new information.
Years ago, the methods used to achieve memorization and understanding of contents were based in fear of failure, punishment, negative comparison, or being permanantly judged. In addition to blocking the concentration of the learner, these emotions made their daily lives unpleasant and made school feel traumatic. To them, school was transformed into a hostile and stressful environment that they seek to flee.
Pleasant Environments and Personal Desires
When faced with the need to create a healthy and happy environment for working and concentration, the most important rule is to create daily routines to transmit a feeling of security and control against events. Additionally, it is fundamental to work on group unity, since the relationships between students are one of the factors most critical in promoting a feeling of happiness and tranquility in class.
When we work on openly creating a positive state for learning in our classrooms, we begin to establish associations between learning and pleasure in the minds of our students that will last a lifetime. Ian Gilbert
As Ian Gilbert explains in his book, Motivating to Learn in the Classroom: The Seven Keys to Educational Motivation, another recommended exercise is to look for student motivation that is not born from the desires of the teacher. Instead, it should be borm from their own illusions and desires. The teacher should convey enthusiasm through their own enthusiasm in their explanations to achieve this motivation
Learning by Doing
Other critical theories claim that the best way to live a life of learning is based in learning through experimentation. When a child performs an action for himself, he is far more motivated than when he is merely an observer. In the same way, finishing a job that brings you joy makes the same link to this enjoyable experience.
As explained by Roberto Aguado, specialist in Clinical Psychology, the best sensations for learning are curiosity, admiration, security, and joy.
Learning is equivalent to experience. Everything else is nothing but information. Einstein
Mar Romera, teacher and pedagogue, says that children need the confidence of their teacher and family to let them live by themselves y begin to know all of their levels.
Accepting and Integrating Emotions
Mar Romera also explains that 21st century teachers and professors have to establish the “education of being,” not the already obsolete, “education of knowledge.” Children, adolescents, and students must live without hindrance or obstacles in their emotions. Among many theorists like Romera, there is agreement not to label emotions as good or bad as all emotions are healthy. It is especially important to be able to accept all emotions, good and bad, when preparing for adult life. In his research, Darwin discovered that the most profound and elaborate emotions exist only in the most evolved species. From that we can deduce that emotions make us evolve. For this reason, we should never block these emotions, especially in children and young adults.
On the contrary, there are pleasant and unpleasant emotions; in order to make students learn, teachers should choose the pleasant ones.
For years there has been an increase in classroom tendencies to look for new teaching based in the functioning of the brain.
It is an incontrovertible fact that what we are, think, feel, learn, memorize, and express in our behavior and language is an expression of our brain’s functioning and constant interaction with the rest of our body’s organs, with everything that surrounds it , from the physical and chemical, to the social and cultural aspects of our lives. Mora, Francisco
This trend speaks again to the importance of our emotions, in particularly our empathy, illusion, curiosity, and surprise in the cerebral processes of memory and learning.
Emotions activate the neural circuits and, in this time, the brain is more active and receptive to receiving, learning, and memorizing new information.
Francisco Mora, author of Neuroeducation, explains that it is only possible to learn what you love. He claims that education must be transformed to achieve more effective learning and reducing class time to 50 minutes so students can maintain attention.
Today we are beginning to know that nobody can learn anything if they are unmotivated. It is necessary to awaken a child’s curiosity, its brain’s mechanism capable of detecting differences in the daily monotony. Attention is paid to what stands out. Mora, Francisco
In the following activities of Elesapiens you can find experiences that help excite and surprise your students.