Emotions in Learning

Researchers have focused primarily on cognitive aspects of students’ experiences of learning and development in higher education. However, since the early 2000s, there has been a growing awareness of, and increased research attention to, the importance of emotion in students’ experiences.

According to Klaus Scherer, emotions are multifaceted phenomena involving affective, cognitive, physiological, motivational, and expressive components. For example, a student’s exam anxiety may include nervous feelings (affective), worrying about failing (cognitive), sweating (physiological), a desire to avoid it (motivation), and frowning (expressive). Sara Ahmed, on the other hand, emphasizes how emotions are shaped and constructed within particular sociocultural, historical, and political contexts. Thus, a student cares about exam performance because of conditioning from school, family, and community.

Emotions are typically described as having two dimensions: ...

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