What is it about?

Emotional energy is the degree of togetherness and solidarity achieved through classroom activities, evaluated by observing entrainment of bodily actions and conversation, the fluency of interactions, and alignment of ideas. This paper provides a descriptive model of emotional energy that may be used to evaluate the level of intensity over the duration of a classroom activity. It is a useful tool for analysing learner interactions and for teachers to understand and see engagement in their classrooms.

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Why is it important?

Emotional energy may be used as a social understanding of student engagement that includes emotive, cognitive and behavioral elements at the same time. Understanding the intensity of student engagement and the interplay between emotive and cognitive elements is important if we are to evaluate classroom practices.


This model is descriptive and can be illustrated with simple classroom examples. Importantly, because the elements making up emotional energy are visible and hearable in the classroom, it is easy for teachers to learn and apply to teaching practice.

Dr James Davis
Queensland University of Technology

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Intensity of emotional energy in situated cultural practices of science education, Cultural Studies of Science Education, June 2019, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1007/s11422-019-09931-0.
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