The role of quality emotional relationships in learning
It seems like the education system always wanted a teacher to be seen as a person whose main task is to simply share knowledge with the students and help them in a neutral and impartial form develop their abilities to write essays or editing papers. In fact, there are grounds for such an approach because an educator needs to be a role model so the excessive display of emotions is better to be avoided.
But is it a good strategy? Does it prove itself effective? Wouldn’t quality emotional relationships facilitate the learning process?
Luckily, there are more and more scientific studies conducted worldwide, which prove that there is a tight connection between learning and emotional relationships.
Emotions are viewed by many as the opposite of a reason. In fact, feelings are essential to reasoning. The understanding of the value of all things comes from emotions and you can make a good decision only if you know what you want. You may have a lot of information but if you don’t get your emotions engaged, you might get a result, which you didn’t expect.
Cognitive scientists report that the key mission of education is to supply students with things they love to create motivation and, consequently, improve the effectiveness of the learning process. In terms of education, the field of study that excites a student can be such a powerful motivational trigger. Teachers are also supposed to share their passion for their subjects. Can this be done without the engagement of the emotions? It’s hardly possible. So why do we keep the image of a teacher who needs to be impersonal and aloof?
Children learn from those who they love. They want to imitate the person who they admire and as a result, they absorb new information very quickly and more effectively than when they are subjected to the devastating effects of strong negative emotions.
A similar situation can be observed in the classroom. If a student has good relationships with a teacher, the chances of him doing well academically can rise immensely. And vice versa, if a learner is subjected to the dispassionate and distant way of presenting knowledge, he might lose any interest in the subject and the learning might become ineffective.
We are human beings and we can’t get away from the fact that we are emotional creatures. Emotions are an essential part of our evaluation of the surrounding world so denying them is unwise and, at times, harmful. Even such hard subjects as math or physics require an array of various feelings. Think for yourself, when struggling with seemingly unsolvable algebra tasks, you may feel curious, worried, excited, frustrated, and, eventually, delighted.
According to one study where two groups of small children were given lessons of a foreign language, those kids who studied face-to-face with teachers made significantly better progress than those children who learned the same lessons in the form of video. Emotional engagement was a defining factor, which increased the ability of learners to effectively absorb and remember new information.
It appears that for a long time we were focusing on all the wrong approaches, which now luckily become outdated and the real value of social and emotional learning becomes more and more prevalent.