Emotion and Learning

Whenever I share the Discipline Without Stress methodology with teachers and parents, they often ask me, “What is it that makes your approach so successful?”

My response is that I think of how the brain and body are so interrelated that one affects the other. Therefore, I think of how the brain and body react whenever I communicate.

For example, if I compliment you, a good feeling is prompted. In contrast, if I tell you to do something, or criticize you, or blame you for something, then a negative feeling ensues. The mind first processes information (external stimuli); then emotion kicks in. But we oftentimes do not act on cognition; it’s emotion that prompts us to act. Think of any purchase you have recently made. Did you purchase it because you just found out about it, or did you purchase it because you found out about it AND LIKED IT?

In learning, emotion drives attention, and attention drives learning. When someone is emotionally blocked, learning stops. Therefore, I communicate, not only to prompt thinking, but to also prompt good feelings (good emotions).

How do you prompt positive emotions in your students and children? Please post your advice in the comments below.