Train teachers in using humour as a pedagogical tool to enliven classroom

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Often, it has been observed that teachers tend to make classroom instruction serious and heavy. However, according to Decker, if teachers have a comic spirit, it can’t help but create a model for students to look at the world and say: ‘hmmm, isn’t that interesting’.

Humour used appropriately has a potential to help teachers to develop better rapport with the students and enliven their teaching. Humour, when adequately and relevantly used, can increase attention and interest thus help teachers to illustrate and reinforce what is being taught by them. Use of comical comments, funny word games, though-provoking jokes, etc., by teachers in the lessons can combine humour and problem-solving and creativity to enliven the classroom.

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According educational sociology and psychology, both planned and spontaneous humours can lead to better learning environment. However, it has to be kept in mind that humour should be relevant otherwise it can distract from learning the subject being taught.

Many studies have established that humour has an adjunctive value in classroom teaching by heightening interest in the subject matter and promoting divergent thinking. Teachers need to train themselves to in honing skills like drawing simple cartoons, narrating funny quotes, punch lines and jokes to generate interest and enthusiasm amongst students.

Albert Einstein had once said, “Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire”. It is quite evident that lighting such a fire within himself or herself and students, a teacher needs considerable professional effort and practice in the use of humour and improvises teaching methods. The fuel of humour that lights up the fire of interest and curiosity in students requires teacher training and development in skills of incorporating and effectively using humour as a pedagogical tool.