Less stress (and more fun) in the classroom
Willis’ work on ‘emotional atmosphere’ states that authoritarian teachers and intimidating leaders undermine learning. Research also states that while some stress is good, students should not be pushed beyond a point where learning actually diminishes.
Children should have voice and choice
Willis further states that ‘excessive structure and lack of choice robs learners of their autonomy’. Children who have voice and choice are more likely to have higher motivation levels and greater ownership of their learning. The ‘desire to learn’ is the most important gift we can give children.
Joyful learning (SCARF Model)
The renown executive coach David Rock states that in optimal learning environments teachers should never trigger threat responses. His SCARF model states that children (and adults) perform best in conditions where status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness and fairness are maintained. These conditions create ‘joyful learning’ which leads to maximum learning.
Safety, intimacy and trust
Ed Batista, the well known executive coach states that ‘when safety, trust and intimacy are established, these qualities support the actions that lead to greater success as a group’. He further states that in these conditions ‘our ability to learn, to increase our self awareness and to change our behavior in order to achieve our goals more effectively increases dramatically’.
Given what experts are saying, some important questions for parents are:
-Does my child’s school create more fun (and less stress) in the classroom?
-Does the school enable joyful learning?