December 31, 2013

Daniel Goleman: The Emotional Atmosphere of a Classroom Matters


Daniel Goleman starts out saying... "If I could change one thing in education, it would be making explicit the now implicit understanding that the emotional atmosphere of the classroom matters. It's not irrelevant; in fact, it's essential to learning. And the reason it's essential to learning, from the scientific point of view, is that the emotional centers of the brain actually can take over the centers for learning, and so our attention goes from what the teacher is saying to that thing that's upsetting us, and the failure to understand this, I think, handicaps education as a system. So, if we were to make explicit the fact that "yes" it matters that students feel safe; it matters that students feel calm; it matters that they're attentive. And they won't be attentive unless they're calm and now that we're ready to learn, we can go ahead."
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