“Emotions and needs in learning and teaching in HE” #LTHEchat 10 Oct 2018


On Wednesday 10 October 2018, Dr Gerasimos Chatzidamianos aims to trigger an open dialogue/debate that focuses on the emotions and needs of both academics and students.

There has been a lot of work on the effects of emotion on learning. This has historically been linked to emotional intelligence driven by Goleman’s (1995) seminal work. In parallel with the emotional intelligence literature, however, emotions have been found to affect learning in both positive and negative ways. We know, for instance, that positive emotional states such as feeling secure, happy, and excited about the area of study leads to better academic performance (Boekaerts, 1993; Oatley & Nundy, 1996). Equally, heightened emotions, such as being overly excited or enthusiastic might result in carelessness and emotional states such as anger, anxiety, and sadness might result in a reduction to student’s ability to focus (Darling-Hammond et al., n.d.). At their more extreme manifestations, such as when students experience poor mental health, negative emotions could present as academic stress and burn-out; with both being associated with impaired academic achievement (Andrews & Wilding, 2004; Keyes et al., 2012; Vaez & Laflamme, 2008). Interventions to support students emotionally exist with promising results (Winzer, Lindberg, Guldbrandsson, & Sidorchuk, 2018). There has also been a plethora of work on the student needs; during their first year of study (Stagg & Kimmins, 2014), during “times of systemic dysfunction” (Tassone, O’Mahony, McKenna, Eppink, & Wals, 2018), when they join HE underprepared (Bettinger & Long, 2009), or as international students (Ecochard & Fotheringham, 2017) to name just a few.

BUT… ‘what about us’?

What about the emotions of academics in Higher Education (HE)? Is there any room for them? Are they ‘allowed’? Are we aware of them? Are we aware of how these could affect our performance? Could/should we communication these with our line manager and/or our students? Also, what about our needs? As with our emotions, are we able to identify them and communicate them effectively? How can these be met? What do Universities do to support academics to that effect? What self-care strategies do we implement to support ourselves? Most importantly, how could emotions and needs of both students and academics be addressed in HE? This is not about ‘us’ and ‘them’ or whose emotions and needs come first. This is about what kind of synergies are required that would address both.

This LTHEchat aims to trigger an open dialogue/debate that focuses on the emotions and needs of both academics and students with experiences, opinions, and views being welcome from all of ‘us’ as equal partners in learning and teaching.


Andrews, B., & Wilding, J. M. (2004). The relation of depression and anxiety to life-stress and achievement in students. British Journal of Psychology, 95(4), 509–521. http://doi.org/10.1348/0007126042369802

Bettinger, E. P., & Long, B. T. (2009). Addressing the Needs of Underprepared Students in Higher Education. Journal of Human Resources, 44(3), 736–771.

Boekaerts, M. (1993). Being Concerned With Well-Being and With Learning. Educational Psychologist, 28(2), 149–167. http://doi.org/10.1207/s15326985ep2802_4

Darling-Hammond, L., Orcutt, S., Strobel, K., Kirsch, E., Lit, I., & Martin, D. (n.d.). Feelings Count: Emotions and Learning Developed. In The Learning Classroom: Session 5. Stanford University School of Education. Retrieved from http://www.learner.org/courses/learningclassroom/support/05_emotions_learning.pdf

Ecochard, S., & Fotheringham, J. (2017). International Students’ Unique Challenges – Why Understanding International Transitions to Higher Education Matters. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 5(2), 100–108. http://doi.org/10.14297/jpaap.v5i2.261

Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional Intelligence. New York, N.Y.: Bantam Books, Inc.

Keyes, C. L. M., Eisenberg, D., Perry, G. S., Dube, S. R., Kroenke, K., & Dhingra, S. S. (2012). The Relationship of Level of Positive Mental Health With Current Mental Disorders in Predicting Suicidal Behavior and Academic Impairment in College Students. Journal of American College Health, 60(2), 126–133. http://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2011.608393

Oatley, K., & Nundy, S. (1996). Rethinking the role of emotions in education. In D. R. Olson & N. Torrance (Eds.), The handbook of education and human development: New models of learning, teaching and schooling (pp. 257–274). Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

Stagg, A., & Kimmins, L. (2014). First Year in Higher Education (FYHE) and the Coursework Post-Graduate Student. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40(2), 142–151. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2014.02.005

Tassone, V. C., O’Mahony, C., McKenna, E., Eppink, H. J., & Wals, A. E. J. (2018). (Re-)designing higher education curricula in times of systemic dysfunction: a responsible research and innovation perspective. Higher Education, 76(2), 337–352. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-017-0211-4

Vaez, M., & Laflamme, L. (2008). Experienced stress, psychological symptoms, self-rated health and academic achievement: A longitudinal study of Swedish university students. Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 36(2), 183–196. http://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2008.36.2.183

Winzer, R., Lindberg, L., Guldbrandsson, K., & Sidorchuk, A. (2018). Effects of mental health interventions for students in higher education are sustainable over time: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. PeerJ, 6, e4598. http://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.4598

my face small

Dr Gerasimos Chatzidamianos, FHEA, CPsychol, is an Experimental Psycholinguist who completed his M.Phil. and Ph.D. research at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, U.K. exploring certain psycholinguistic manifestations of schizophrenia in deaf adults. He is also qualified to practice Psychology in Greece (Department of Psychology, University of Athens, Greece), and a Qualified Teacher in Special Education. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at MMU.

A passionate researcher on mental health and deafness, psycholinguistics, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and clinical comunication, Gerasimos has extensive expertise on research ethics and the use of social media in health research. A member of the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care Research Ethics and Governance Committee, Gerasimos is the MMU Psychology Department ethics lead. He is currently supervising 3 PhD candidates, 1 Doctorate in Clinical Psychology trainee and many MSc students. In 2018, he has been shortlisted for the Best Postgraduate Supervisor Award 2018.

Link to the wakelet:







About Marianna

Associate lecturer at the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki, Greece. Main academic interests: teacher education and professional development, educational policy guidance and reform. Classes taught: Intercultural Education, Pedagogy, ICT in Education, Adult Education. Loves traveling, libraries and Aegean sea.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s