Emotions can be understood as temporary affective and physiological reactions to events. In a learning context, positive emotions like enjoyment and pride and negative emotions like anxiety impact how students learn, whether or not they choose to re-engage in a learning activity, and how they perform. In chapter 10 you can learn more about how emotions influence learning and motivation in science, and how you as a science teacher can ensure that your classroom practices have a positive impact on your students' emotions.
Resources to support teachers in facilitating positive emotion and minimizing negative emotions toward science can be found by clicking on the links shown at right. Those resources include handouts and activities, further reading, links to recommended websites, and short (~ 3 minute) video clips illustrating the importance of this concept to practicing scientists and showing exemplary high school teachers who practice the strategies recommended in the book.
Use physics humor to make your students laugh with these limericks and cartoons.
2. Science Anxiety
Science Anxiety Questionnaire (see page 2 of document), from a United Nations meeting contains a science anxiety questionnaire that can be given to students.
Articles with practical information about science anxiety:
- Mallow, J. (2006) Science anxiety: Research and action. National Science Teacher Association. Focuses on college students but is also especially relevant for upper division HS and AP teachers.
- Britner, S. (2010). Science anxiety: Relationships to achievement, self-efficacy and pedagogical factors. In J. Cassady (Ed.) Anxiety in Schools: The Causes, Consequences, and Solutions for Academic Anxieties (pp 80-95). New York: Peter Lang.
3. Test Taking Anxiety and Strategies
Brief slide show with strategies for helping students with the ACT.
Practical tips for reducing test anxiety.
Practical tips for successful test taking with less anxiety.
Short article on preparing for the ACT. Many public and school libraries have test preparation materials that can be used to follow these tips.
A test taking guide that can help minimize test taking anxiety.
Practical tips for students on how to deal with test anxiety.
4. Study Skills
Tips for how to organize schoolwork and assignments.
Techniques for how to develop study skills of value in high school and beyond.
A complete guide to high school study skills.
Essential study skills for science students.
5. Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques
Research and links on mindfulness from the Association for Mindfulness in Education.
Website by a mindfulness educator with articles (under ‘press’) and other resources. Some resources require logging in.
Room to Breathe teaches the use of mindful breathing in middle schools. The free 1:46 sample video shows the breathing technique.
Website for helping stressed teens with mindfulness techniques.
Simple progressive relaxation instructions.
6. Resources for Parents
Test taking tips with suggestions for parents how to help their kids be prepared.
7. Additional Readings
An article describing the Emotional Motivation Questionnaire by Pekrun and colleagues. The Achievement Motivation Questionaire can be found on p.47 (appendix A) of the article.
8. Videos about Emotion
Links to videos about concepts and strategies described in this chapter are found on this page. To learn more about the scientists and teachers featured in these videos, click here where you can read a description and/or select a link to find all video clips of them.
Teachers and Classrooms
Kris helps her students deal with test anxiety.
Students have some jitters before stepping into a teaching role but end up enjoying it.
Steve stresses the importance of having fun in the classroom, for the sake of both the teacher and the students.
Matt shows how addressing fear of something like fire can help make students comfortable enough to reduce anxiety.
Girls in Greg's class sometimes start out a little squeamish about the worms. He provides a safe environment for the students to overcome any initial hesitation and engages them in "saving the babies." In response, students become committed to learning the science needed for providing an environment in which the worm cocoons hatch and subsequently flourish.
Mike uses a silly song to help students and their parents remember different kinds of oak trees and to laugh and have fun while they are learning.