Members in the Media
From: Slate

How Does That Geometry Problem Make You Feel?


Human tutors—teachers who work closely with students, one on one—are unrivaled in their ability to promote deep and lasting learning. Education researchers have known this for more than 30 years, but until recently they haven’t paid much attention to one important reason why tutoring is so effective: the management of emotion. Studies show that tutors spend about half their time dealing with pupils’ feelings about what and how they’re learning. Now the designers of computerized tutoring systems are beginning to make sensing and responding to emotions key parts of the process, and they’re finding that users learn more as a result. At the same time, researchers are using the data generated by these programs to make new discoveries about emotion and its central role in learning.

One such discovery is that the feelings that dominate psychology’s conventional theories of emotion—such as psychologist Paul Ekman’s six “basic emotions” of anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, and surprise—are not, by and large, the feelings that are involved in learning. In educational settings, it’s the “academic emotions” that occur most frequently: curiosity, delight, flow, engagement, confusion, frustration, and boredom.

Read the whole story: Slate

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