PIDP 3250 Positive Learning Environment: Humor

The use of humor in the classroom to create a positive learning environment was explored on the forum postings. Humor is a valuable teaching tool for establishing a classroom climate conducive to learning. Humor puts the students in a good mood. When students in a classroom are in a good mood, they are more receptive to what is said. A little bit of laughter in the classroom opens up the mind and goes a long way in triggering the interest and motivation to learn. Humor acts as an ice-breaker and helps the teacher develop a good rapport with the students. However, it has to be kept in mind that humor should be relevant otherwise it can distract from learning the subject being taught. When teachers use humor effectively in the classroom, it can result in a number of benefits for teachers and students alike. Using humor in the classroom can also be an effective classroom management tool.
I learnt that a little bit of laughter in a classroom can go a long way in decreasing anxiety, lowering defenses, fostering a positive student-instructor relationship, defusing tensions, provoking imagination, triggering interest and motivation to learn, and opening the mind. Teachers are powerful role models and as such can use appropriate humor in the classroom to enhance a sense of community (Harris, 1989). Humor can be nurtured and integrated into the classroom such that it fosters a sense of openness and respect between students and teachers. When students feel safe, they can enjoy the learning process and each other. The thoughtful use of humor by instructors can contribute to teaching effectiveness.

Harris, J. J. (1989). When jokes are not funny. Social Education, 53, 270.


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