10 November 2017
Emotions have a crucial role in the construction of the memory and memories; a broken heart, a success, our deepest fears, are all reminders of unusual events, memorable and significant. Emotions also have a massive impact on the learning stage, which can be either positive or negative. A child entering a classroom wants to feel safe, in an environment he knows, with people he has affection for. This feeling of safety will boost his willingness to learn, to explore and to be attentive to what’s happening around him. It will also most likely make him share it with others. On the flipside, if a child feels the others are rejecting him, or not receiving any words of encouragement or compliments from the teacher, they may have a tendency to stop following the class and switch off. Young children are filled with joy every time they enter classrooms if they feel likes it’s an « at home » feeling, alternatively, they can have fear and anxiety they are the target of his classmates’ mockeries, making it a hostile environment.
Most of the time, when asking adults the question “what did you learn during your education?” interestingly the most common answers refer to “relational, social and affective experiences,” rather than “knowledge.”
Spirit is associated with the ability to remember with positive experiences, facilitating memorization. An illustration of this is a teacher making his students laugh, gaining their attention and concentration. If one is in a good mood, one is more willing to learn things, and the sense of understanding things, returns pleasure upon oneself. As mentioned before, “unpleasant” emotions also have an influence on the learning stage.
Another element to take into consideration is the emotional sensibility of the moment. We tend to easily remember a situation when the emotional intensity was high, rather than everyday situations our memory filters through our life. We call this the “flashbulb memory,” it’s about the ability to easily remember disruptive events that have high emotional charges. For example, the 9/11 attacks are the most relevant. Everyone can remember what we were doing at that moment, who we were with and where, whereas we don’t have specific memories for the 9th or 10th September. The events we usually remember are those that meant something in our life and our journey (dependent of the importance given by an individual).
In conclusion, emotions play a crucial role in learning and the ability to memorize things, all brought to life because the Heart Never Lies!