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Emotions, Cognition and Learning in Science
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Emotions, Cognition and Learning in Science


This is Dr. Cath Milne's presentation.

This is Dr. Cath Milne's presentation.

Published in Education , Technology
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  • 1. Emotions, cognition and learning in science
    • Catherine Milne
    • Kayla Rubin
    • Sci-Ed Fellows Meeting, July 2011
  • 2. What are emotions?
    • Emotions are engagements with the world that aim to change or maintain relationships in the world
    31:13 Helen ((inaudible)) Helen walks over to Javeen talking about video on “ serious games ” 31:15 Javeen I, I, really ((shrugs shoulders)) don ’ t know half the things she ’ s talking about, she ’ s talking about games. The only thing I kept hearing is ((inaudible)) about Mario is so old {shrugs shoulders} {swiveling in chair, side to side while talking} 31:24 Symphonie =yeah! (inaudible) Sitting next to Javeen, {leans over and looks up at Helen} 31:25 Javeen =(inaudible) then like Mario ’ s pushing 100 right now? 31:28 Symphonie So what we gonna do next? Symph is addressing Helen {turns around to face Helen again} {smiling} {Javeen turns to face her computer} 31:30 Helen So, you guys (inaudible) make sure you (?) know to go back to this (inaudible)… {Helen ’ s back to camera} {moves forward and uses left hand to point to screen} What emotions are presented in this interaction?
  • 3. What is engagement?
    • high degree of emotional entrainment (synchronization of body and speech)
    • positive emotional energy
    • shared focus of attention
    • desire to act towards common goals
  • 4. How do we learn?
    • Cognitive perspective:
      • the mind and body are separate
      • the world exists externally and provides information to our senses
      • processed by our central nervous system
      • the mind absorbs information and builds representations thereby producing new knowledge
      • emotions are separate but can influence cognition
    • Sociocultural perspective
      • body, mind, and environment are dynamically interrelated
      • the mind and the world are enacted through these interactions
      • therefore cognition is goal directed interaction between bodies (agents) and the world in which they are situated (this is important) and emoting is associated with the interacting between goals and world
  • 5. Human mind and body (Alsop 2011)
    • How the human body interacts with the environment determines the human mind
    • Concerns about what students learn in science
      • Babies interact through senses
      • Youth and science - senses and texts
      • Students are identified as science learners based on their regular production of consistent patterns of activity that conform to normative cultural standards
    Bodily experiences influence the content learned
  • 6. There's no crying in biology: dissecting an eye Helen: I won ’ t be able to cope with this. I will [inaudible]. Jonna: Well, if it ’ s going to smell like things, then I ’ m leaving at once. Helen: If it smells, then I ’ ll leave. You know if it smells, shit. Jonna: No, oh shit, now I feel sick (Orlander & Wickman 2011) What is the action in context here? What are students emoting? Jonna's emotional responses to the thought of dissecting a calf's eye highlight her body's emotional response to her body's encounter with the eye that have implications for what her body can do in that situation
  • 7. Thinking about context and actions
    • How is dissecting an eye different from and similar to cutting up a chicken?
    • Does the discipline influence how teachers think they should respond to emotions? (disciplining emotions)
  • 8. Curriculum meanings
    • Student actions in the world that support learning
    • Subject matter that is to be learned
      • Example: students in a sex education class felt that the teacher's embarrassment (a negative emotion) about sex education deprived them of learning because they were forced to 'read in a lot of books' rather than having a discussion about issues of sex education that was of interest to them (Orlander & Wickman 2011)
  • 9. What is learning?
    • not about learning facts
    • but about how we interact with the world and problem solving by identifying the constraints of the subject and world
  • 10. Companion meanings (Roberts & Ostman 1998)
    • understandings associated with the issues students learn in classrooms
    • while students might learn biology concepts in a biology classroom, they also learn about issues of power and authority, what knowledge is of most worth in that context and what they need to do to demonstrate power over that knowledge
    • how actions of aesthetic emotional responses are used in the classroom, how they are aassociated with companion meanings, has consequences for how students see themselves in science
  • 11. Is this your class?
    • In school science it is more likely for the body to be presented as a disembodied site of study rather than as the source of experiences for meaning making.
    • Schools are focused on creating docile bodies, bodies that are disciplined to follow rules that legitimate some actions and emotions and de-legitimate others.
      • For example, there are "safety-rules" and "methods of inquiry" and other rules that serve to discipline "ways of doing, speaking, writing, feeling and enacting" (Alsop 2011). While the ability to perform a task and the willingness to do so were both important for academic success, the willingness part was the more important (Keiler & Woolnough 2003).
  • 12. A different model
    • instilling a passion for the world we live in
    • context – living environment
    • learning is not just about what the mind can do on its own; it is how the mind, body, and spirit interact to create a movement, the idea of embodied learning
  • 13. Observing emotions and acting
    • site – middle school with focus on science, inquiry and investigation
    • highly diverse population
    • observing student emotions as they interacted with the idea of structure and function of cell organelles initiated a new embodied approach to student learning
  • 14. Actions and emotions
    • class discussion about structure and function of 9 important cell organelles required in curriculum
    • modeling action with the “thinker pose” for nucleus. “I put my right foot on a stool, placed my right elbow on my right knee and put my fist to my chin, as though I were deep in thought. “ The students burst out laughing.
  • 15. Ms. Rubin Says
  • 16. What happened and what we learned
    • each time we played students were so excited it was difficult to quiet them down enough to begin a game
    • a powerful sense of anticipation, competition, and confidence in the classroom
    • students who didn’t like to speak in front of their classmates or spoke limited English were eager to participate
    • during test on cell function observed several students doing the body gestures to remember the function of an organelle
  • 17. Curriculum and companion meanings
    • a curriculum meaning was the learning of cell organelles and their function
    • a companion meaning for this curriculum was that all goal directed actions involving body and mind could support student learning of science
    Can you think of a curriculum and companion meaning for each class you have taught?
  • 18. Linking positive emotions/ or not
    • Session 1 - shared focus towards games and expressions of excitement from playing games
    • Session 2 - online learning environment individual student at computer
  • 19. Environmental factors
  • 20. Curriculum meanings Companion meanings Emotions Actions
  • 21. Curriculum meanings Companion meanings Emotions Actions If you use a strategy like engineering design, what are the curriculum and companion meanings?