A New Narrative About Emotions and Their Connection to Learning

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Title

Teaching and Learning for Social Justice and Equity in Higher Education


By focusing on current cognitive and neuroscience research, we explore the important role of emotions and feelings play in the learning process (Bresciani Ludvik, 2016; Immordino-Yang, 2016; Zull, 2002, 2011). Specifically, we will deconstruct the myth that the learning process should feel easy (Brown, Roediger, & McDaniel, 2014). To do that, we will also address the gendered associations between “having” feelings as feminine, which informs understanding of why student affairs work is often perceived as feminine work while academic affairs are often viewed as more masculine in higher education (Ludeman, 2011). By deconstructing the racialized way in which feelings are heard in the learning process (DiAngelo, 2016), this chapter highlights how people with disabilities who express their feelings are often not believed or considered (Evans, Broido, Brown, & Wilke, 2017). Finally, we provide specific skills and practical examples for higher education practitioners to connect instruction and content to emotion to maximize equitable access to content and learning.



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