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26 January 2006 / erikduval

Affective Learning

Am reading up a bit on manifesto-style publications related to learning, in preparation for the [Grand Research Challenges workshop](http://ariadne.cs.kuleuven.ac.be:8989/wordpress/eduval/?p=100) in Leuven next week. (Yes, PLEASE send me your suggestions!)

This should have been on my reading list earlier, but I only discovered the [manifesto on Affective Learning](http://www.media.mit.edu/publications/bttj/Paper26Pages253-269.pdf) today. This is basically a plea to focus more on the emotional rather than only the cognitive side of learning. The authors then outline what such research could involve. I like the examples, but must admit that I find the conceptual side not well structured – of course, that may be partly due to the fact that there is not enough research that could underpin a sound structure.

I certainly do agree that affective issues play a large role: music and background noise in general (think of the sound of the sea or running water), the time of day (late night when everyone is sleeping), the physical environment (architecture and building, social interaction (sitting down in the corridor of a hotel where everyone is quietly taking advantage of wifi to work and a few small groups here and there share some of their work, while others are chatting with friends Back Home), etc. All of these obviously impact in Very Substantial Ways on how we learn.

I’m not aware of much research in this area, but I’d sure be interested if you can point me to it!

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