Humankind is Both Art and Science – The Art and Science of Learning Disabilities

Fifth in the series of Humankind is Both Art & Science based on the TEDx talk given on Oct. 1, 2011 at TEDxYMCAAcademy.

  1. Humankind is Both Art and Science; 2. Limited, and Fooled, by Our Senses; 3. The Trickery of Temporary Truths; 4. Post Gutenberg Parenthesis; 5. Emotional Rescue; 6. Question Authority

Emotions Impact Cognition

Emotional Rescue

So what else can we do – besides recognizing this different giftedness?

We need kids to love learning – to love themselves. It is the natural way.

Let’s follow their path – not impose ours.

Emotions impact cognition.

Again, intuitively many of us have understood this over time.

And guess what? The neuroscience literature is now bursting with evidence in support.

“Emotions impact cognition.”

If You Fall In Love with It You Become an Expert

“Emotions are essential to the decision-making process since they are the engine of the limbic system – our emotional brain which is connected to learning and motivation”,  says Antonio Damasio in a wonderful book called Pedagogy in (E)motion, by Zambrana-Ortiz.

Cognitive science has typically studied how people perceive, learn, remember, and think.

The role of emotions has been largely absent in the literature – until recently.

The neurosciences have now explicitly accepted the importance of emotions in the production of knowledge.

“Emotions influence the development and efficacy of executive functioning.”

Emotions influence the development and efficacy of executive functioning.

Bring Love - Gain Expertise!

I have always posted a sign on my classroom doors – “If you fall in love with it, you’ll become an expert.”

Remember seeing that those of you who have visited the academy? That is why.

So engage the emotions of your students by engaging them in authentic tasks – real tasks that are meaningful to them.

Give them power over their learning by encouraging and supporting their development of deep, driving questions that arouse their passion.

Allow them to work with others so that they can find their place – and work in their areas of strengths – with their assets – not let them suffer in their deficit areas.

I have spoken and written tons about that and so I’d ask you to check throughout this blog for more details on passion-driven, inquiry-based, collaborative project-based learning.

Read Part 6 in the series  – Question Authority!