ISBN: 9781877390432

Using Humour in the Classroom


ISBN: 9781877390432
Author(s) : John Hellner,
SKU: 9781877390432


A hands-on, how-to guide for effective and enjoyable teaching practice

Using Humour in the Classroom provides a hands-on, how-to guide to enhancing classroom practice through unwrapping the variety of opportunities that humour offers. By using humour, you can remain playful and enthused about your work as a teacher. In a playful classroom, too, your students can grow to recognise the joy in life, in learning and in work, because humour is one of the keys to joy.

In general, teachers don’t play as much in class as they used to. There are understandable reasons for
their seriousness:

  • Over recent decades the education sector has seen unceasing change and innovation in management practices, curriculum content, assessment processes, performance appraisal systems, instructional methodology, pedagogical theory and research findings. Teachers are under too much stress and have too little time, as they are inundated with new policies and procedures, accountability requirements, and new learning theory and teaching practices.
  • Teachers face learners with diverse new styles. More students have emotional and behavioural barriers to learning or special needs of a seemingly endless variety.
  • Current best practice requires a paradigm shift in teaching approach. Instead of following the old approach of teaching in the style in which they themselves liked to learn, teachers now seek to include every student in the learning process (even when the student is unwilling) by teaching in the variety of ways in which students learn.
  • Working in an educational environment to which a business mentality has been applied, teachers are employees, no longer revered solely by virtue of being the teacher. As well as facing the challenges and criticism of parents, who are considered to be customers or clients, they are under pressure from demanding administrators.

Yet in this serious environment there is particular need for humour. Recent research tends to support the widely held belief that young people learn from people they like and respect. With good interpersonal skills, teachers can build the rapport needed to help students achieve. Interpersonal skills include: being aware of moods or states; using communication skills to enlist cooperation; listening reflectively; guiding rather than controlling; and being respectful, polite and non-judgmental, yet firm and insistent. Each of these skills is strengthened by an ability to use humour effectively.

This resource therefore promotes the use of humour in the classroom as a way to build rapport, encourage student achievement and growth, and make your job more satisfying. It deals with some
central ideas about humour in the classroom, addressing both its major advantages and how to avoid the pitfalls that are associated with it. Also underlying this resource is the aim of showing in a practical sense how you can nurture humour in your classroom and harness it to make your practice more effective. Using Humour in the Classroom will sustain, support and surprise you as you develop and refine your teaching skills amid the challenges of the modern classroom.

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