Emotions and learning

In a presentation before the academic year started, I had participants visualize the following scene:

It is your child's very first day of school. When you, as the parent, meet the child after school this first  day, what would you say or ask your youngster?

I received responses such as, "How was your day?" and "What did you learn?" I continued to ask and the following question invariably arose: "Do you like your teacher?"

We intuitively know that the heart has to be engaged before the head is ready to learn. If the child has negative feelings toward the teacher, the child's entire year will be affected—and perhaps future years in school as well.

Regardless of any system or silver bullet you may have at your disposal, if positive feelings are not engendered, there will be a problem.

Although noncoercion and trust (the feeling that no harm will be forthcoming—psychologically, emotionally, or physically) are the foundations for good relationships, no solution to any problem will be effective unless the heart, as well as the head, is engaged.

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