Enhancing the Senses and Creating Atmosphere

I decided to give you a break from S-bombing you in the title today. It is recommended that in order to help students to learn and remember more, then you can do things like play certain music, spray certain smells around or get them to face east when they’re writing and west when they’re reading (I made that last one up!).

It’s sometimes billed as a way to help them concentrate or a way to help the information sink in better, and sometimes described like a psychological device, so that the next time you smell lavender, you’ll instantly remember the quadratic equation. Either way, it’s got no place in the everyday activities of a qualified teacher.

I understand that enhancing your memory in those ways is a real thing that really works, and I use it myself by putting my finger and thumb together while meditating to remind me of the state of mind I was in last time I did it.

What I disagree with is it’s place in the practice of a professional teacher who is already very busy and already has a massive workload. In order to implement this, something else has to go. And if we’re doing this as a replacement for something else, for example, spending more time helping a student with a task, that’s when it becomes ridiculous.

I think it should be left to the alternative therapy providers and if it does ever appear in teaching, it should be as a suggestion to individual students who need some extra props with study skills. We shouldn’t be expecting teachers to have to remember to spray lavender around the room on top of everything else.

Would you ever use any techniques like this in your lessons?

Read the full series: Top Ten Things That Are Bullshit In Teaching
Similar post: Things I Wish Were Different About Teaching: Number 1 No faddy things that need to be evidenced in planning


Fred Tracy said...

How long does it take you to spray lavender around the room? :P

I wouldn't mind being hired for that job to help offset some of the teachers work. I could just go around the school and make everything smell good. Kind of like a reverse janitor… I like it.

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