Humor in School is Serious Business

Dr. B. Lee Hurren
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Traditionally, education has been perceived as a most serious and disciplined undertaking. Schools have become so obsessed with discipline, standardized test scores, objectives, competence, and proficiency that they have turned into rather grim places. The classic educational ideal of serious and formal presentation of academic material is no longer adequate for holding students' attention and enhancing the learning environment. Rather than being a painful chore, learning should be augmented by smiles and laughter. Humor in school can be used to stimulate learning, motivate students, and ease tensions. The presence of laughter is not necessarily a sign of goofing off, but it demonstrates that students are paying attention to what is going on around them. When used wisely, humor in schools facilitates attention and motivation, improves teacher-student rapport, and makes all subjects more acceptable. Dr Hurren will demonstrate that to use humor, one does not need to be a natural joketeller or clown. Creating a humor-filled environment, jokes, lesson plans, personal stories, games, tests, appropriate and inappropriate uses of humor, and benefits of humor use will be addressed. Those in attendance will learn that happy, interested students are more prone to higher achievement and fewer behavior problems. Taken seriously, humor profits educators and students alike.

Keywords: Teaching strategies, Teaching methods, Humor, Creativity, Motivation
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English (and Spanish if needed)
Paper: Humor in School is Serious Business

Dr. B. Lee Hurren

Associate Professor of Secondary Education, College of Education Department of Secondary Education , University of North Alabama

B. Lee Hurren, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Education at the University of North Alabama, USA. He earned his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno, USA, and finished his dissertation on The Effects of Principals' Humor on Teachers' Job Satisfaction. He received his M.Ed. in Spanish Education from the University of Nevada, Reno. Lee earned his B.A. in Spanish from Southern Utah University, where he ran track and cross-country on scholarship for the Thunderbirds. Dr Hurren taught middle school Spanish, math, and reading for three years; and secondary Spanish and English as a Second Language for eight years in Reno, Nevada, USA, where he also coached track and cross-country for 11 years. He spent three years running professionally, earning about US$100 per month, which forced his wife to go to work as a school counselor to support his addiction to high mileage running (120 miles/200 Kilometers per week). He also spent two years as a service missionary in Chile, South America. Dr Hurren is a former stand-up comic and winner of the Doritos/Certs Comedy Competition. Lee and Susan Hurren have four lovely children, and they reside in Florence, Alabama, USA.

Ref: L05P0508