Emotions drive attention, create meaning, and have their own memory pathways. They regulate behaviors, and they help us organize the world around us. You can't get more related to learning than that. As teachers we see and hear the effect of student's emotions. It's common for students to remember the death of a friend, a field trip, or a hands-on science experiment far longer than they remember most lectures. Good learning does not avoid emotions; it embraces them, recognizing emotional states as fast-changing, specific neural networks that incorporate multiple areas of the brain... The correlation between the strength or [an] original event and the likelihood of retrieval of that event is astonishingly high, around 90 percent (Christianson & Loftus 1990)... Today neuroscientists might recommend engaging emotions as a part of the learning, not as an add-on. 

—From Teaching with the Brain in Mind, 2nd Ed. Eric Jensen, p. 69, 71, 135.

Creating pathways for students to make personal connections to content is key to activating motivation, consequent desire to learn, and retention into long-term memory. This principle underlies many learning models and drives my process for creating videos for next generation courseware in the Humanities. I believe that storytelling is an immediate act, connecting the teller to the listener in a physical moment where the listener can receive both unique and universal lived experiences that they can reflect on to draw insights and vision for their own personal paths, tapping into archetypal symbols where learning takes place. 

This video was created for Pearson Education's Next Generation High School U.S. history course. I acted as executive producer and collaborated with the talented team behind TruFilms who produced the video. It is one of many I have produced across the subject areas of World, U.S. and State Histories, American Government and Economics.

Project Partners: TruFIlms