Using Humorous Examples During Instruction Hampers Student Learning
During each lesson, teachers face two pressing tasks: (1) teaching students content in a way that will help them best understand and recall that information, and (2) keeping students’ attention. To accomplish this, many teachers may choose to incorporate humor into their lessons, using funny examples to illustrate a point. However, in their paper, “Humor in the classroom: the effects of integrated humor on student learning,” authors San Bolkan et al. argue that using humorous examples to explain content to students actually hampers students’ ability to recall information from the lesson (154).
In their article, “Honors Students’ Perceptions of Their High School Experiences: The influence of Teachers on Student Motivation,” Del Siegle et al. explore what motivates gifted students in high school. Specifically, the authors investigate teachers’ characteristics and practices that help motivate high-achieving students (36). For this study, the researchers conducted in-depth interviews with four separate focus groups, each consisting of between 6-8 freshmen at a top-ranked public university. 71% of the focus group participants were female and every participant graduated in the top 4% of his or her high school class (39). These students were all academically successful and had valuable information to share about how teachers motivated them throughout high school.