Training, consultancy and resources to improve teaching and learning
You are here > Members' Resources > Thinking Classroom Resources > Resource Detail
Navigation Find Resources
Navigation Resource Search
Navigation Resource Tags
Active Learning   Adjectives   Advance Organiser   AfL   Ambition   Analogy   Analysis   Andragogy   Architecture   Archive   Art   Assemblies   Assessment   Association   Astronomy   Audience   Audio   Audit   Autonomy   Behaviour   Big Data   Bloom's Taxonomy   Book   Boys   Brain   Brain Break   Brain-Based Learning   British Values   Bullying   Capacity   Careers   Challenge   Change   Characteristics   Charlotte Mason   Childhood   Christmas   Cities   Classroom Management   Coach   Coaching   Collaboration   Colour   Comedy   Communication   Community   Comparison   Composition   Computers   Conflict   Connections   Constructivism   Contemplation   Conversation   Cooperation   Counting   CPD   Creative Curriculum   Creative Thinking   Creativity   Critical Thinking   Curiosity   Currciulum   Curriculum   Danger   Daniel Pink   Data   Debate   Decision Making   Design   Differences   Differentiation   Digital   Discussion   Display   Diversity   Doodling   Dragon   Dream   Drive   Dunblane   Dweck   Dyslexia   Early Years   Easter   Economics   Edit   EEF   Effective Practice   Effort   Emotional Intelligence   Empathy   Enquiry   Environment   Equality   Error   Esteem   Evaluation   Evidence   Existential   Exploration   Facts   Failure   Feedback   Film   Fitness   Flow   Freedom   Froebel   G&T   Games   Gardner   Gender   Gender Neutral   Genius Hour   Genres   Geography   Gifted Able & Talented   Glass Bead Game   Global   Goals   Grammar   Grit   Group Work   Growth Mindset   Gun Control   Happiness   Hard Work   Hattie   Health   Heterarchy   Hierarchy   High Order Thinking   History   Holiday   Home Education   Home Schooling   Homework   Horace Mann   Humour   ICT   Imagination   Inclusion   Independent Learning   India   Induction   Influence   Infographic   Innovation   Inspection   Inspiration   Integrative   Intelligence   Internet   Interview Preparation   Intuition   Investigation   iPad   Jerome Bruner   John Dewey   Judgement   Juggling   Justification   Knowledge   Language   Leadership   Learning   Learning Community   Learning Skills   Learning Styles   Lecture   Lesson Design   Lesson Starters   LGBT+   Listening   Literacy   Literature   Logic   London 2012   Lord of the Flies   MAGT   Mark Making   Marketing   Marking   Marzano   Mastery   MAT   Mathematics   Media   Mediation   Memory   Mentoring   Metacognition   Metaphor   Metzinger   MFL   Mindset   Mistake   Modal Verbs   Morality   Motif   Motivation   Multiple Intelligences   Music   Myth   Nature   Negotiation   Networks   New Year   Noise   Nuclear Power   Numeracy   Ofsted   Olympics   ONR   Opinion   Order   Organisation   Outstanding   P4C   Pace   Parents   Patchwork Thinking   Pattern   Pedagogy   Periodic Table   Personal Development   Personalised Learning   Perspective   Philosophy   Pixar   Planets   Planning   Plastic   Play   Plenary   Plot   Poetry   Politics   Positive Education   Positive Error Culture   Poster   Poverty   Praise   Prediction   Prioritising   Problem Based Learning   Problem Solving   Process   Productivity   Professional Development   Professional Learning   Progress   Protection   PSHE   Psychology   Punctuation   Pupil Voice   Purpose   QCI   Quality   Questioning   Questionnaire   Ranking   RE   Reading   Real Time Coaching   Reasoning   Reflection   Reform   Reframing   Relationships   Religion   Research   Resilience   Responsibilities   Revision   Rights   Risk   Roles   Romans   Rules   Sacrifice   Safety   Scaffolding   School Improvement   Science   Seasons   Secondary School   Self Knowledge   Selling   SEN   Sequencing   Service   Setback   Shape   Shooting   Silence   Similarities   Simile   Skills   Snow Angels   Socrates   Sorting   Space   SPAG   Speaking & Listening   Spellings   Sports   Story   Stress   Struggle   Study   Subordinate Clause   Success   Success Criteria   Summarising   Summer   Surprise   Sustainability   Targets   Teaching   Team Work   Technology   Template   Thinking   Thinking Classroom   Thinking Cubes/Dice   Thinking Skills   Thinking Stories   Timbre   Time Management   Tone   Transition   Trust   Tudors   Understanding   UNESCO   Vacation   Values   Video   Visual Learning   Visual Story   Visual Thinking   War   Weather   Well-Being   Welsh   Winter   Wish   Word Game   Work   World War 1   World War 2   Writing   Year 6   Year 7   Zen  

Comedy & Learning

Comedy & Learning An Article discussing comedy, humour and enhanced learning.

This is a Free Sample Resource
Categories: Article, Creativity, Educators

Tags: Comedy Humour Memory

What's Funny?
The Ontic-Epistemic Theory of Humour (OETC) proposed by P. Marteinson (2006) asserts that laughter is a reaction to a cognitive impasse, a momentary epistemological difficulty, in which the subject perceives that Social Being itself suddenly appears no longer to be real in any factual or normative sense*.

Was that introduction funny to you? If it was even mildly amusing, why was that? Unexpected? Confusing? Resolved when you realised the intent? (ironically complicated and unfunny) And have you even continued reading? Are you now finding it amusing that you're being questioned by a web page? Or that this point itself has just been made? Are you still there? Here? Wherever that is?

What is it and what's it for?
Theories of humour are as numerous as Michael McIntyre's observations on daily life. Models of what it is and what it's for combine ideas from sociology, psychology, evolution, yogurt-tasting computing and neuro-science. In general, we find something funny if it's surprising, unexpected, incongruent or completely out of place. Mashed carrot. Some types - such as slapstick - are pretty straightforward: Custard pie. Clown. Face. Laugh. Or: Plank of wood. Laurel. Hardy. Laugh.

Others require a lot more work, more maturity, extensive cultural awareness, patience and a willingness to be insulted for your inadequacies as a comedy audience. Stewart Lee.

Research Suggests
Research suggests that the right kind of humour can enhance well being and relationships. But what is the right kind of humour? In 2003, Weir et al. looked at this and identified 2 types, each separated in to 2 styles. The two types are Adaptive (helpful for growth) and Maladaptive (not). Each can be directed towards yourself or towards others. This gives us 4 combinations:

1. Adaptive-Self: Humour used to cope with stress, make light of challenging situations.

2. Adaptive-Others: Humour used to build relationships, ease tensions, entertain others.

3. Maladaptive-Self: Humour used to fit in with others, to express negative outlook.

4. Maladaptive-Others: Humour used aggressively to attack others - racist, sexist, -ist jokes.

Adaptive humour is not only good for your health (Ruch et al.**, 1994), it's good for your learning (Me et al.**, Today). Remember the mashed carrot from earlier? Improv. comedy especially has very strong links to the mechanics of memory and thinking. Often working from a blank slate and prompted by a single word, accomplished improv. comedy troupes entertain audiences for hours on end with performances that appear scripted and rehearsed. These folks do rehearse but when they do they are not learning lines. They are learning principles, learning to be fully attentive to others in the moment, and learning to have high levels of cognitive flexibility.

During a show, improv. comedians are making connections and associations, using imagery, listening for understanding, taking risks, creating stories and being active. Each of these features can enhance memory; each one can be applied directly in the more sober world of the school curriculum.

The BBC Comedy Classroom Literacy Project
The BBC has always had a mission to inform, educate and entertain us. An effective combination of all 3 comes in its Comedy Classroom project - inspiring school children to get involved with comedy writing. This is linked to Red Nose day and invites you to harness the power of your class joker(s). Entries are now open for 2017's competition.

BBC Comedy Classroom (Opens in a new window)

BBC Comedy Classroom Primary Resource pack (Opens in a new window)

BBC Comedy Classroom Secondary Resource pack (Opens in a new window)


**There are a lot of people called 'al.' who are all doing some very important research.

***Nope. You won't find *** anywhere in the text.

Related Resources:

Cognitive Flexibility

Flex Thinking (Standard)

Humour for Learning

Humour Think Sheet

Surprise Thinking

Tips for Classroom Humour


There are no Comments

Please Login to Comment