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Oct 25, 2022

Is it ok to smile before Christmas? This week my guest, David Lowe and I talk about humour in the classroom - what it is, how it can help learning and how it can go wrong, there are also some (very good) jokes!  If you want to find out more about David’s research or get involved you can visit his website

Research Mentioned:

Huber, G. & Brown, A. (2017) Identity Work, Humour and Disciplinary Power (in Organization Studies) found:

  • Humour is used by coop workers to set and uphold norms
  • Identity creation categorised into: 'homogenising' (common characteristics across the group, i.e. identifying as part of the co-op community; respectful to each other); differentiating (identifying how they are different from other members of the organisation who have undesirable characteristics, i.e. being a flexible rule follower vs officious; not too serious/self-righteous); personalising (identifying as independent from the coop, i.e. being oneself/having autonomy).
  • Power is help by collective workforce, not just implemented by specific people or groups (i.e. managers)

Research into humour and academic success:

Archakis, Argiris, and Villy Tsakona (2005) Analyzing Conversational Data in Gtvh Terms: A New Approach to the Issue of Identity Construction Via Humor (in HUMOR: International journal of humor research) - studied youths and found that people used humour as a covert correction mechanism of in-group behaviour (reinforcing existing bonds, evaluation of behaviour) and social identity.

Lovorn, M. (2008) Humor in the Home and in the Classroom: The Benefits of Laughing While We Learn (in Journal of Education and Human Development) -- social and intellectual development among preadolescent children can be enhanced and enriched when the children are exposed to the regular, structured, appropriate use of humor by parents and teachers.