Friday, June 03, 2005

Laughing and Learning

Humor encourages participation

"Some teachers might laugh at this new study, but it seems classroom levity boosts student interest and participation."


Part of being a psych major in college involved becoming a guinea pig. One of my professors studied humor and even practiced his improv at a comedy club. His tests were always difficult, however he always made them funny which definitely made them more enjoyable to take. At the end of the year we were told that he had made different tests for each section of his classes, and that he would definitely look to see if the funny tests produced any significant difference in performance (unfortunately, he moved to Chicago before releasing the results).

When working with my students, I have found that the use of humor can readily help to change a frustrated emotional state to a more positive one. Furthermore, humor is a great tool for increasing participation in my classes (I teach classes to homeschooled students) as well as letting the students know that I am a real human and not a factoid robot!



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