Thank you for your interest in The Emotional Learner.


Studies often emphasize performance changes and ignore the subjectively much more striking changes in mood and memory that accompany performance ~ Sarah-Jayne Blackmore & Uta Frith, The Learning Brain.

The Emotional Learner intends to fill this gap by examining the emotional processes that encourage and inhibit learning and by investigating the often complex relationship between cognition and emotion. While much has been written about learning in terms of cognition (e.g. memory and attention) the influence of emotions has been largely neglected, despite learning being described as a cognitive, emotional and social process. The Emotional Learner examines the current thinking and research evidence surrounding the usefulness of both positive and negative emotions and how they help and hinder the learner. It also examines the role of brain structure and the relationship between memory and emotion and offers advice to educators on how to teach ‘with emotions in mind’.


Main themes include:

  • What we mean by ‘emotions’ and why they are important to learning
  • The role of learning orientations (mastery versus performance)
  • The difference between activating and deactivating emotional states
  • The relationship between cognition and emotions
  • The emotional antecedents of motivation and engagement
  • Anxiety, boredom, interest and curiosity and how these help and hinder learning
  • The teenage learner
  • Fear of failure, how it evolves and how to combat it


Please find below links to sample materials, resources and presentations. 

Please feel free to comment in the box below.


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Draft Chapters (Draft chapters may contain small errors and structural inconsistencies).

NEW Positive and negative emotions [link] [Draft Chapter]

What we think and what we feel: The complex relationship between cognition and emotion [link] [Updated 19/08/2016]

Motivation and emotion [link] [Updated 19/08/2016]

Other Resources.

Reference List from ResearchED York presentation [link] 

ResearchED York Presentation Slides (scribd)  [link] PowerPoint [link]

The Problem With Curiosity [link]