(Previous post in this series: The Input Hypothesis)
A: The Affective Filter Hypothesis
“Learning is filtered through the emotions.”
Psychological safety is one of the most important factors in a successful team. The classroom is no different. It needs to be a safe space where students are free to take chances. The class must be free of insults, put-downs, judgmental statements and crude language. Even snide remarks, rolling eyes, smirks, mockery, and lack of inclusion can have a negative impact on students’ ability to learn. Establishing behavioral norms and expectations in the classroom and then rigorously enforcing them is crucial if students are to learn at high levels.
“When the input does not contain i+1 … and when the students’ affective filter is high, comprehensible input is not good enough.” (Krashen, 1982)
APPLYING THE AFFECTIVE FILTER HYPOTHESIS IN THE CLASSROOM:
• Model open and accepting behavior yourself. To counteract a negative culture you will have to clearly model positive comportment and then explain what you are doing. Show students with you body language what acceptance and care look like.
• Have clear behavioral expectations. Set clear and high expectations for student behavior.
• Practice and use procedures. Reinforce your expectations with well thought out classroom procedures.
• Enforce the class norms. Consistently enforce the classroom norms of courtesy and respectful behavior.
• Show and tell them what you expect. Expect students to “play the game.” Use an interpersonal self-assessment to define what you mean.
• Control of your own behavior. You set the tone for the class by controlling your thoughts and actions. It’s not exactly as simple as “think good thoughts” … but almost. Students can pick up on the unconscious and unintended body language messages you are sending out when you judge them. Banish disappointment and disapproval from your mind because students will smell it on you and react negatively. There are techniques for this that I have seen work wonderfully.
The rest of the posts in this series are found here.