Emotional Connections Trigger Learning and Creavity

First, we’re delighted that announce that we’ve been spotlighted in two recent articles at THE Journal and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  Check ‘em out!

Next, I want to share an interesting article about the neuroscience and research being on the way people learn.  Specifically, the article researches the role of emotion in learning and creativity.

Students’ social and emotional reactions to learning are imperative to feeling motivated to learn and to their ability to creatively solve problems, according to Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, who wrote Musings on the Neurobiological and Evolutionary Origins of Creativity via a Developmental Analysis of One Child’s Poetry [PDF]. Her research tries to understand why emotions are so important to learning by examining what happens to brain functions.

One of the major reasons Dream Flight Adventures is such a powerful teaching tool—one that lasts with students for their entire lifetimes—is the powerful emotional impact our simulations create.  By raising the stakes and immersing students in an emotionally-demanding mission, they engage their left- and right-brains and form new mental connections that they wouldn’t otherwise make.  Also, by engaging all the students’ senses, their learning can be triggered and recalled in many ways down the road.

Not only does this emotional impact make the experience memorable, it also inspires creativity.

When a topic strikes a chord with a student it feels meaningful because the part of his brain firing is the same part that keeps him conscious and alive. It’s also the part of the brain responsible for novel, creative or new ideas.

“Creativity is representing some kind of relevant problem in a new way and making peopleunderstand it, and feel about it, and have some insight into something that matters,” Immordino-Yang said. She argues that creative moments are motivated by caring deeply about a subject. Furthermore, humans make meaning by relating new information to feelings, memories and other personal information to give it context.

The whole article is worth a read.  Check it out when you get a chance.

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