On the Cutting Edge - Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
Student Motivations and Attitudes: The Role of the Affective Domain in Geoscience Learning
Cutting Edge > Affective Domain > Dilemmas about Teaching > Convincing faculty about the importance of the affective domain

Convincing faculty about the importance of the affective domain

Dilemma

Jennifer Husman, Todd Zakrajsek, Kelly Rocca

At this conference, we are recognizing some of the research on the affective domain and its importance, but not all professors recognize the importance of this domain. The lack of professors utilizing this domain can be problematic, and we'd like to work on the resolution of this.

The problem is multi-faceted: Professors may believe they are "only there to teach" and the students are "there to learn" and it is not the professor's responsibility to worry about motivating them or making them feel good about learning. Possibly, students don't have the ability to succeed, so why should a professor try to motivate students who have the potential to fail? Shifting from a teacher-centered viewpoint to a student-centered one moves the responsibility to ensure that learning occurs from the student to the teacher. When a student fails, it is no longer the student's fault, and the failure becomes ego-involved for the professor.

Another issue is that many feel that emotion is not supposed to be part of science. Stereotypically, the only appropriate emotion is the "joy" that comes from "the inherent beauty of science." How do we convince professors that they need to bring back a construct that they have been trained to rid themselves of?


Responses

Al Werner, Bosiljka Glumac, and Lisa Gilbert

Potential solutions to the dilemma of convincing faculty on the importance of the affective domain:


Convincing faculty about the importance of the affective domain  

Hi; I'm a nurse educator interested in discussing the affective domain with other educators. It seems to me that the affective domain is essential in order to teach adult learners because, according to Knowles, adults will never attend to what they don't think is important. Motivation is everything and we get nowhere without it. Suggestions about techniques are welcome!

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