Events in Learning Science

In: Eventful Learning
Stephen M. Ritchie
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For far too long, the study of learning in school classrooms was undertaken as if this could be achieved independently of learner emotions and contexts. A research focus on the role of learner emotions in school contexts was overdue. More importantly, the confluence of cognition and emotion, as observed in events that punctuated classroom structures dramatically, necessitated theorization of events. Applying what philosophers, sociologists and historians have learned about major historical events, my colleagues and I began a program of research to investigate classroom events as the unit for analysis. Emotional energy of the classrooms and discrete emotions of individuals were outcomes of salient learning events studied. We learned that eventful learning occurs dramatically for all to see, and un-dramatically over time and in ways less visible to other classroom participants. Eventful learning then involves both cognition and emotion and, as the cases reported in this book show, in classroom activities designed to engage learners emotionally.

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