Stephanie is a long-time Associate of Independent Thinking and the founder of Laughology. As a former stand-up comic and someone who has trained at the Patch Adams Institute, she knows a thing or two about the power of laughter to help with learning, achieving and well-being.
Why should I introduce more laughter into my classroom?
We asked Associate and founder of Laughology, Stephanie Davies and this is what she had to say.
Scroll down to read the transcript of Stephanie's great advice
"Hi, my name is Stephanie Davies and I am from Laughology. I'm going to talk to you about laughter in the classroom, why it's important and how you can use it more and give you some top tips! I am a big advocate of laughter in the classroom for lots of reasons - it helps you learn better because it increases neurotransmitters in the brain that helps with what I call ‘sticky learning’.
Having a Laugh
A great way to remember those neurotransmitters are as “a dose of laughter”, so dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. We need neurotransmitters to learn, we learn through emotional response and, so if we create positively emotional response, we're more likely to learn and remember that learning -so, that's a really good reason to have laughter in the classroom.
It also helps with any nerves, any anxiety around learning and encourages young people and children to just say an answer because it doesn't matter if they get it wrong if they're having a laugh and then it'll encourage them to give more answers.
It's also really good for teachers because if teachers can have a laugh as well it reduces any stress that they've got. And so, just some top tips and the reason why I should be telling you about this is because of my background in stand-up comedy, but also psychology - so mix the two together and that's why you get Laughology!
So, I know a little bit about it, also from my experience in the classroom with young people as well.
Who Would Win?
So, a couple of top tips of how you could use it - I always talk about mixing ideas and mixing people, mixing places, and encouraging children to do that as well. For example, you might say to children “Who would win in a fight between a triangle and a square?”. Now, there's no particular answer to that but by them talking about it they'll have fun with it but, they'll also explore the reasons why a triangle might win, or a square might win.
You might even say to them “where would Kink Henry VIII go on a date? And why there?”. Encourage them to be as creative, imaginative, and as fun as they like and they'll explore those options but, also have a laugh with it.
You can also ask them about mixing places and mixing people, for example who would win in a fight between______ and encourage them to talk about two different people and, then you can create some fun in the classroom, whether that's online or face to face - go ahead and enjoy!"
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