Mapping the emotional journey of teaching

Jones, Emma (2017). Mapping the emotional journey of teaching. Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal (KM&EL), 9(3) pp. 275–294.



This paper will explore the use of Novakian concept mapping as a means of visualising and tracing the range of emotions inherent within any teaching experience. It will focus in particular on its use within higher education, where the presence of emotion has traditionally been disregarded or seemingly suppressed. The example of undergraduate teaching of the law degree will be used as an area where the role of emotion is particularly under-theorised. This paper will assess the effectiveness of concept mapping as a tool to enable academics to explicitly acknowledge, and reflect upon, the existence of emotion, both in terms of their individual teaching experiences, their collective teaching journey through a course or qualification and their students’ learning journey. It will also consider how use of this technique at a collective level could identify areas of pedagogic frailty, which may arise due to the misinterpreting, mishandling or suppression of emotion. The various opportunities and challenges arising from this application of concept mapping techniques will be discussed, drawing on a small, empirical pilot study, and leading to the conclusion that it has a useful and significant role to play within an emerging field of enquiry.

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