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Managing Emotions: Outcomes of a breathing intervention in Year 10 science

King, D., Sandhu, M., Henderson, S. and Ritchie, S. (2018) Managing Emotions: Outcomes of a breathing intervention in Year 10 science. In: Ritchie, S.M. and Tobin, K., (eds.) Eventful Learning: Learner Emotions. Brill, pp. 193-216.

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Learning science can be an emotional experience. Recent research reveals that middle-years students experience negative emotions such as frustration and anxiety while learning science. Strategies to help students manage their emotions in science classes are emerging, but require further investigations to ascertain their effectiveness. In this study, an intervention, which adopted short deep breathing exercises to help students manage their emotions was trialled in a Year 10 science class. The aim of the study was to determine students’ emotional responses as well as the practicalities for implementing such an intervention. We conducted research using an ethnographic case study method where the teacher implemented short episodes of deep breathing exercises with students during each science lesson for seven weeks. Salient themes emerged from the analysis of video and audio files, field notes, students’ emotion diaries, 19 individual student interviews, and two teacher interviews. We present one main finding in this chapter; that is, students who experienced the negative emotions of frustration/anxiety reported that the breathing exercises changed their emotions. On the basis of this finding we suggest that teachers could use deep breathing exercises to help students experiencing negative emotions in class to ameliorate their emotions.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Publisher: Brill
Copyright: 2018 Brill
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