PIDP Week 5 – Creating a Positive Learning Environment

The use and misuse of humor in the classroom is a favorite of mine. I have come home from two training sessions,  Industrial First Aid, the other Lift Equipment training. I found both of these instructors had used humor (or attempts at humor) in a very inappropriate way. I found the First Aid Instructor very knowledgeable and a rather good presenter however peppered throughout the two day course were ‘supposed’ humorous comments about how he was not Brad Pitt and other similar comments about his appearance..

This went on and on to the place where it actually started to feel uncomfortable.

As some of the training involved actual ‘hands on’, where we actually were required to touch our learning partners in order to properly locate specific sections of our respective body’s, his self deprecating comments made the uncomfortableness of touching/handling a stranger even more uncomfortable as he was often required to demonstrate on/with each student these hands on techniques.

I also judged that he had talked far to much about his personal life. Where I understand the need to make new students feel  comfortable and somewhat familiar,  I found it to be unprofessional and distracting

The lift equipment  trainer was under the impression that swearing and using pejorative terms was some how appropriate and funny, this took away from what would have been interesting and professional training had there been the absence of the nonsense. His swearing jokes and other use of language I found distracting and bordering on offensive and  disrespectful. I vowed never to do any of these ‘behaviors’ in any of my training or instructional delivery.

Humor can be defined as, “any communication that leads to laughing, smiling or a feeling of amusement”.
Current research suggests that humor in the classroom: • Facilitates retention of novel information; • Increases learning speed; • Improves problem solving; • Relieves stress; • Reduces test anxiety; • Increases perceptions of teacher credibility.
The prudent use of “content-related, non-hostile humor” has added benefits: • More supportive learning environment; • Enhanced students’ attention and pleasure in learning; • Improved thinking skills and test scores; • Improved attitudes towards the subject matter.

I wish to be seen as a professional, where I can create a learning environment that develops the interest and passion for learning and of course the appropriate use of humor.

Understanding group norms; Respect, Listen, Tolerance, Empathy, Understanding, No Name Calling, No Assumption, No Judgement, No Guilt, No Manipulation, No Humiliation.

cartoon classroomcreative commons logo from adult site


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