The role of the emotions in the discourse of teaching and learning.
The Open University.
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This study conceptualises and evidences the role of the emotions in the language of teaching and learning. It fills a gap in educational theory which had arisen from the fact that although there is considerable evidence to show that the emotional state of learners influences their achievement in schools, there has up to now been no way of understanding the how emotions actually affect the mechanisms of classroom discourse.
The study presents the following argument:
It reviews the different research perspectives which can contribute to our understanding of the role of the emotions in the language of teaching and learning. It assesses the strengths of these perspectives and identifies the common ground between them. It then assesses their limitations (in terms of the aims of this study). This points the way for new theory to develop. It looks at the interdependent nature of the relationship between cognitive and emotional development. Understanding the limitations of these perspectives along with an appreciation of this interdependency enables a development of Vygotskian theory ( the theory which underpins all the perspectives examined) in order that the role of the emotions in the language of teaching and learning may be understood.
Vygotskian and neo-Vygotskian concepts are then reinterpreted and expanded in order that the role of the emotions can be shown. It is argued that the zone of proximal development is better seen as three dimensional model, where cognition, culture and emotion create each other. This is shown by highlighting the emotional dimension of internalisation, self-regulation and scaffolding, and showing how this emotional dimension is interdependent &om the cognitive dimension in these concepts.
Viewing the ZPD in this way allows a fuller appreciation of the relationship between social context and individual in development. It also makes it a more practically applicable model, as is shown when the emotional dimensions of various aspects of classroom discourse are examined and illustrated from practice. This is done by reconceptualising the concepts of action and behaviour and by showing, through the development of theory with reference to practical examples, that the emotional dimension of the language of teaching and learning is an influential factor in the nature of classroom discourse and academic achievement.
Finally the implications of this reconceptualisation are considered. These include the argument that this study allows a more psychosocial perspective on classroom events to be developed than has been possible up to now
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