Emotions and the Educational Environment
Educators and leaders worldwide need to consider the emotions of their students/employees. Fundamentally the brain needs to be emotionally stable to function at its best because emotions such as fear and stress impair learning. Good leaders and educators know not only their own emotional intelligence but gauge the emotions of those they lead.
As mentioned earlier, a calm amygdala allows the prefrontal cortex (executive thinking) to take precedence and activate emotional intelligence which is key to a healthy working/learning environment. An understanding of emotional intelligence needs to be translated into our leadership role by providing an environment where the people we lead are enthusiastic to learn and are emotionally stable. This means learning to design educational experiences that have the brain and emotional intelligence of our people in mind.
Watch the following animation of Jeffrey Walsh from Khan Academy which considers the three components of emotions and the universal emotions that are common to all people around the world.
This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.
Walsh explains that emotions are made up of cognitive, behavioural and physiological changes that are interrelated. They are temporary, can be negative or positive, vary in intensity and are involuntary.
In relation to your workplace or educational setting consider the cognitive processes (mental assessments – appraisals, expectations, thoughts) that occur in your everyday life.
Are the people around you behaving positively or negatively?
What emotions are you or they creating?
What behavioural responses are your students or employees displaying as a consequence of the experiences you are producing?
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