Learning is an emotional process

For the last 30 years, experts have been opening our eyes to the role emotions play in learning. We cannot merely consider learner’s cognitive needs as we attempt to improve learning models (Pekrun 2014). An expert at USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute, Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, has found that emotional responses precede conscious understanding and are essential for memory and application of learning (Immordino-Yang 2016).

With this renewed understanding of emotions in the learning process, we must also recognize that each learner’s feelings are unique. In other words, what’s negative for one learner, may be positive for the next and vice versa (example: learning how to ride a bicycle).

At the same time, what ends in struggle or even failure for me, might mean immediate success for you. However, often we are consistently required to tackle subjects that leaving us feeling unpleasant emotions (example: learning new skills can be overwhelming).

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