Humor in School is Serious Business
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
Dr. B. Lee Hurren
Associate Professor of Secondary Education, College of Education Department of Secondary Education , University of North Alabama