About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4705-4709
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.2116

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

EMOTIONAL EDUCATION IN PRIMARY SCHOOL: THE 'JOURNAL OF EMOTIONAL LIFE' AND THE 'VEGETABLE GARDEN OF EMOTIONS'

F. Valbusa, A. Camerella

University of Verona (ITALY)
Nowadays, in the fields of philosophy and psychology, there are many researches concerning emotions: these studies are relevant from a theoretical point of view, while educational theory needs empirical researches, that investigate how to educate children to analyze and to know their emotional life. In the light of this premise we developed an educative project and a qualitative research on it: participants were children in four fourth classes of three primary schools in Verona.

At the basis of our educative research there were the following theses:
1. theoretical: the emotional education is conceivable in the light of the cognitive conception of emotions; indeed, if emotions have cognitive contents – as it is sustained by authors such as Nussbaum (2001) and Oatley (1992) – then, they can be understood by the person who feels them;
2. epistemological and ethical: a research involving children should be thought not as a research “on” children but as a research “for” children (Mortari, 2009), i.e. it should be aimed at offering a positive and significant experience to the children involved.

The development of our educative project was aimed at facilitating the children’s reflections on their emotions. The research on the educative experience that was organized in the involved classes was guided by the following research question: “What ways of affective self-understanding emerge from an educative experience that is structured on the basis of a cognitive conception of emotions?”
During the educative action, that lasted four months, the children were required to write and analyse their emotions in a personal diary titled the “journal of emotional life” (Mortari, 2015). In their journal, the children had to write a narrative about an emotion they felt during the day and analyse it on the basis of a metaphor. The metaphor is the “vegetable garden of emotions”; according to this metaphor, every emotion is associated with a vegetable plant. The use of this metaphor was aimed at facilitating the children’s recognition of the fact which gave rise to an emotion, the manifestations of this emotion and the thoughts linked to it.

The children’s writings were analysed by the researchers on the basis of a phenomenological and inductive approach (Mortari, 2006, 2007). The study’s results allow identification of some elements in the way in which the children develop their affective self-understanding:
- the cognitive operations that were required of the children for the analysis of their emotions; that is to say, the recognition of:
o the fact which gives rise to the emotion;
o the manifestations through which the emotion eventually expresses itself;
o the thoughts which are linked with the emotion;
- the recognition of the intensity of the experienced emotion;
- the recognition of the desire or unwillingness that can accompany the emotion;
- the recognition of an additional emotion.

Furthermore, the research shows that the act of narration – facilitated by the “journal of the emotional life” – and the process of analysis – facilitated by the metaphor of the “vegetable garden of emotions” – can be effective instruments for children’s affective self-understanding.
@InProceedings{VALBUSA2016EMO,
author = {Valbusa, F. and Camerella, A.},
title = {EMOTIONAL EDUCATION IN PRIMARY SCHOOL: THE 'JOURNAL OF EMOTIONAL LIFE' AND THE 'VEGETABLE GARDEN OF EMOTIONS'},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.2116},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.2116},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {4705-4709}}
TY - CONF
AU - F. Valbusa AU - A. Camerella
TI - EMOTIONAL EDUCATION IN PRIMARY SCHOOL: THE 'JOURNAL OF EMOTIONAL LIFE' AND THE 'VEGETABLE GARDEN OF EMOTIONS'
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.2116
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 4705
EP - 4709
ER -
F. Valbusa, A. Camerella (2016) EMOTIONAL EDUCATION IN PRIMARY SCHOOL: THE 'JOURNAL OF EMOTIONAL LIFE' AND THE 'VEGETABLE GARDEN OF EMOTIONS', ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 4705-4709.
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