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Human Relations

, Volume 51, Issue 11, pp 1403–1417 | Cite as

Emotional Aspects of Large Group Teaching

  • David Hogan
  • Richard Kwiatkowski
Article
  • 16 Downloads

Abstract

With the growth of mass education in the U.K.has come the seemingly inevitable growth of large groupteaching. Many “technical” solutions to theproblems of large group teaching have been proposed (e.g., use of microphones, structured handouts,buzz groups, etc.) but we contend that emotional aspectshave been largely neglected and ignored. We argue thatit is legitimate to consider the role of emotion in higher education, and its particular effectsin large teaching groups. While it is, perhaps, easierand safer to pretend that all is well, there are clearemotional consequences to working in these large groups for both students and lecturers. Forinstance, students may experience powerful feelings ofalienation, anger, and envy in large groups andcompensate in various ways, some of which will beantithetical to achieving effective learning and astimulating educational experience. Similarly, lecturerscan also seek to cope with their own feelings of fearand uncertainty by behaving equally maladaptively. We examine the contribution psychodynamic thinkingcan make to our understanding of large teaching groupsand contrast this with the consequences of adhering tosimplistic technical models. We argue for the legitimacy of the role of emotion in highereducation and seek to encourage a debate on this issuewhich will include appropriate research into the effectsof trying to teach and learn in large groups. This paper thus seeks to raise issues andencourage debate in this relatively unresearched area.Further, we contend that it is important and necessaryto conduct appropriate research into the emotional effects of such groups on both teaching andlearning.

TEACHING LEARNING HIGHER EDUCATION LARGE GROUP EMOTION PSYCHODYNAMIC 

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Copyright information

© The Tavistock Institute 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Hogan
  • Richard Kwiatkowski

There are no affiliations available

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