How humor can contribute to the learning process

Adult students learn from their experience, but only when and if they reflect this experience. Humor aids in contemplation and critical thinking necessary to view our ordinary life patterns. However, critical thinking is often a growing process that most people avoid. And then they lose out on learning from their diverse lives. Humor, on the other hand, offers people a reliable way to explore our life experiences and see them experience in a new, more realistic way, actually transforming us and our meaning into our experience.

Malcolm Knowles believed that people will be ready to learn something when it will help them cope with real tasks or problems (St Clair, 2002). Humor, empowers people, and eliminates problems. As veteran Mike Veneman says, gives a sense of distance that always gives us a fresh (and preferably positive) perspective. People desire humorous experience because at some level they are ready for change. They are ready to face another perspective. They want to witness someone who requires authority. Or do they want someone to let them examine and challenge their regular religious system.

Teaching is a method of mutual discovery, communication and exploration of the self and other people and subjects (Holt, 1964). The relationship between the teacher and the student is andragogical, which includes adult education that accompanies another adult in a refined, enriched adult year. The way to adulthood often involves pain change. Thus, it is preferable to have a supportive environment for those who perceive change during the adult years. It can be a stimulating emotional experience to realize that our best option would be to change our current thinking and work. The humorous environment of our outlook provides support – or at least does not encourage us to take this process seriously.

In this enriched environment, humorous behavior resembles that of adult teachers. To connect effectively with viewers (students), humorous speakers must adapt to different levels of intelligence and attention. The location of humorous shows connects and encourages students – it's a setting that provides an accessible way for people to learn. People who would not otherwise be able to read the textbook on the subject would likely be successful as the textbook is taught by humorous words and ideas. Humor is a way to introduce students to new, difficult ideas in a fun way. As a bonus, people are encouraged to practice their imaginations as they "get" jokes.


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