Engaged? Enthusiastic? Energised? Confident? Willing to have a go?
When our learners come to our learning and development programs we want them to learn.
This sounds like I’m stating the obvious and I have seen many trainers and facilitators focus on the content too much and assume that the learners are in the right emotional state for learning, they’re ready to go. So they launch head first in to the content via a fairly standard opening eg these are the objectives, this is the agenda, here are the ground rules…now lets get started.
But creating a true learning environment is not as simple as that. People are emotional beings. They lead busy lives and are usually juggling multiple competing priorities.
We want to get to: the learner’s executive brain, their prefrontal cortex
- You use your executive brain (pre-frontal cortex) when you consciously think, manipulate information, pay attention and when you learn
- But our mammalian brain will take over and stop the learning if we let it
Our emotional brain, the limbic system.
It supports a variety of functions including emotion, behavior, motivation, long-term memory and olfaction.
Some basics about the Limbic system:
- The limbic brain emerged in the first mammals
- can record memories of behaviours that produced agreeable and disagreeable experiences
- it has a great deal to do with the formation of memories and face recognition
- the seat of the value judgments that we make, often unconsciously, that exert such a strong influence on our behaviour.
Involved in various processes of cognition including:
Region of the brain involved in storing memories of threatening events
Greek for ‘almond’ (its shape)
A complex structure involved in a wide range of normal behavioral functions and psychiatric conditions.
Learns and stores information about emotional events, our emotional memory
Involved in processing aggressive behavior and fear
Controls body temperature, hunger, behaviours, thirst, fatigue, sleep and circadian rhythms.
Helps us to remember new information.
Contains a control centre for many functions of the autonomic nervous system.
Responsible for hormone production.
Primary function - homeostasis, which is to maintain the body's status quo system-wide.