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Thursday, June 23 • 16:10 - 17:00
CON09.01 - Welcome to my classroom: Empowering Learners by Creating Human Connection

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What moves “Empowering Learners” from platitude to practice? It begins with human connection. The aphorism “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care” is increasingly true for students.

Both psychological theory and the most revered work in teaching and learning support the centrality of human connection. For example, self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985), one of the most cited theories in social psychology, recognizes the organismic need for interpersonal relatedness. In the latter case, both Lowman (1995) in his classic text, and Chickering and Gamson (1987) in their famous paper on principles for education, asserted one of the most fundamental factors in effective teaching is increasing teacher/student contact and connection. Yet, our classrooms can do more to meet students’ need for affiliation and connection. In virtually any learning environment, students enter with some level of tension, anxiety, and/or resistance. If the stress response is activated, it can decrease the brain’s capabilities to learn and remember (Kaufeldt, 2010).

This session opens with participants engaging in a real-time experience intended to create a sense of welcome and classroom learning community. We will explore the very real and visceral concerns from personal history that students bring into every classroom. Through a series of experiential exercises, including partner activities, participants will get in touch with what students feel on the first day of class and how barriers to learning can be removed through a focus on human connection. We will then “reverse engineer” the experience and participants will (a) learn helpful practices preparing themselves to be open and centred, creating relationships with and among students and (b) be able to describe and implement key approaches to create human connection.

Presenters

Thursday June 23, 2016 16:10 - 17:00
UCC 37

Attendees (34)




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