How does anger manifest in the classroom?
A new study by the University of Leicester (funded by The Leverhulme Trust) has recently looked at some of the things that distinguish students who think they have done well in a STEM lesson compared to those students that didn’t think they did very well.
The classroom is an emotional place, connected to events outside the classroom which influence a student’s response to learning. Students can feel excited and curious about the topics they learn, or anxious and ashamed about exam results.
Abandoned or not enough time to feedback?
This research identified anger as a specific emotion that is particularly problematic in STEM lessons and is also a response to COVID-19; concerned that anger is more prominent in the classroom than ever, due to the disruption of routine and student feelings of abandonment by their teachers.
After a STEM lesson which was rated as ‘difficult’ by 1,588 students (11-16), the students wrote about how they felt about the lesson and how they behaved during the lesson.
Those that didn’t feel they did very well (showed low resilience), used a lot more anger words when writing about the lesson compared to those who felt they did well (showed high resilience).
When looking more closely at what the students were saying there were two sources to this anger:
- Students were angry at themselves and their learning ability
- Students were angry at the teacher and the classroom climate.
Both these sources led to these types of comments: For example, “I’m really stupid and I’m going to fail everything” or “When I ever I put my hand up, no-one cares to help me.”
I wonder if there is any correlation with EBacc policy and children’s mental health?
Building upon the verbal feedback research published last year, I hope to work alongside the University of Leicester to research this further, using some of these techniques to explore ‘anger’, feedback and assessment provided in the classroom. The questions I pose to you here are:
- What are the main reasons for anger in the classroom?
- How may anger be best resolved in the classroom?
- What may help support you to quickly deal with anger in the classroom?
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to respond to scientific information devoid from negative emotion, and to act as soon as possible. I’m publishing this here for initial feedback…