Title

Teach with Emotion: A Revolution in Brain Science

Location

Ballroom F

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

Depending on the emotions we engender in our classrooms, we inhibit or foster learning. The role emotion plays in the brain as a modifier of brain function has extreme implications for how best to structure the moment-to-moment life in our classrooms! The way we structure interaction in the classroom determines which neurotransmitters and which neuropeptides are released, and in which quantities. This, in turn, impacts dramatically on how likely our students are to pay attention to the learning task, how motivated they are to learn, and how free their working memory is to think and process academic content. By implementing brain-friendly teaching strategies, we release the power of emotion to help students' brains feel safer, to release less stress hormones, and to think and learn better.

Brief Program Description

We can harness emotion in our classrooms to create a passion for learning, make our content more memorable, motivate, and improve problem solving and thinking. Just as fear constricts the ability to think, positive emotions broaden thinking. By experiencing structured instructional strategies that elicit positive emotion, participants in this session walk away with seven tools to release the power of emotion in classrooms to make students measurably smarter!

Summary

Our understanding of how emotion influences brain functioning has revolutionized our basic understanding of the brain. Emotions make our brains not just digital, but analog as well, and infinitely more complex.

Emotion can facilitate or hinder learning. Fear inhibits the prefrontal cortex and we are less able to think, be creative, or learn. Positive emotions promote thinking and learning. Any intense emotion signals the brain to remember. If we are passionate about our content, that passion creates passion for learning among our students. If students celebrate each others' successes, they not only create a more positive, supportive classroom environment, but they also actually prime each others' brains to remember the content. The presenter in this session guides the participants in actively exploring and experiencing the following seven tools to harness the power of emotion for learning:

  1. Teach with Passion
  2. Elicit Passion
  3. Link Emotion to Content
  4. Provide Praise
  5. Celebrate Success
  6. Elicit Positive Emotion
  7. Promote Play

Throughout the session, the presenter demonstrates, explains, guides the participants in experiencing, and leads the participants in processing Kagan structures for active engagement. These structures include AllWrite Concensus, Paraphrase Passport, Celebrity Interview, Timed Pair Share, and Swap Talk. These practical structures can be implemented with any content with learners at all developmental levels. Participants receive an extensive handout with step-by-step directions for using the structures, as well as examples of ways to utilize the structures in different academic content areas.

Evidence

A very large body of research proves that positive emotion of any kind increase memory, thinking, creativity, and problem solving. The brain research on emotion has a number of direct applications to improve instruction and to make our classrooms more brain-friendly. The emotions we generate moment to moment as we teach, either facilitate or inhibit learning. This session examines seven research-proven tools to teach with emotion, including ways to generate more passion for learning among students, and ways to generate more positive emotions in our classrooms. The research that grounds this session includes the following: Damassio, The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness (1999); Iacoboni, Mirroring People: The Science of Empathy and How We Connect with Others (2009); McGaugh, Memory and Emotion (2003); Kagan, Brain-Friendly Teaching: Tools, Tips, & Structures (2014); and Bunzeck, Doeller, Dolan, and Duzel, Human Brain Mapping (2012).

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Jeff Dane has been in both private and public education for over 25 years. His career has led him to teach people of all ages from birth through adults. In public school, he has taught at varied socioeconomic settings. As an International Certified Trainer for Kagan Professional Development, Jeff has had the opportunity to lead workshops with thousands of educators throughout the United States, as well as other parts of the world. As a parent, educator, and coach, Jeff believes the goal of anyone working with young people should be to mold dreams, build bridges, and change lives.

Keyword Descriptors

Emotion, brain, neuroscience, engagement, achievement

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

3-8-2016 1:00 PM

End Date

3-8-2016 2:15 PM

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Mar 8th, 1:00 PM Mar 8th, 2:15 PM

Teach with Emotion: A Revolution in Brain Science

Ballroom F

We can harness emotion in our classrooms to create a passion for learning, make our content more memorable, motivate, and improve problem solving and thinking. Just as fear constricts the ability to think, positive emotions broaden thinking. By experiencing structured instructional strategies that elicit positive emotion, participants in this session walk away with seven tools to release the power of emotion in classrooms to make students measurably smarter!