TO JOKE OR NOT TO JOKE – some upper-secondary school students’ perceptions and experiences of humour in the classroom.

by Ashley Blackmore

Institution: Högskolan i Halmstad
Year: 2011
Keywords: humour; moderation; openness; qualitative; upper-secondary school; Social Sciences; Educational Sciences; Samhällsvetenskap; Utbildningsvetenskap; Social Sciences; Educational Sciences; Pedagogy; Samhällsvetenskap; Utbildningsvetenskap; Pedagogik; Social Sciences; Educational Sciences; Learning; Samhällsvetenskap; Utbildningsvetenskap; Lärande; humaniora/teologi; Humanities, Theology; Psykologi; Psychology
Record ID: 1357620
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-17128


The aim of this qualitative study was to attain an increased understanding as to how several upper-secondary school students perceived and experienced teachers using humour during classroom discourse. The study was based on the following questions: What does humour mean to the students? What are the forms of humour utilized by teachers? How do students perceive the use of humour with regards to learning processes? Are there recommendations and cautionary measures for teachers to consider when incorporating humour in teaching? Methodology used was a semi-structured interview of 13 questions. Participants consisted of six students aged 16 to 19 years. The length of the interviews varied between 20-35 minutes. Results of the interviews indicated that openness and understanding the unique sense of humour existing in each classroom, as well as self-confidence and a moderate use of humour, are necessary to effectively incorporate humorous text and anecdotes in lessons to facilitate learning processes. However, the study revealed that openness is pivotal in the construction and maintenance of positive learning climates. Students did not experience humour during ESL lessons, indicating a possible lack of contextual knowledge in language teaching practices.