The Emotional Learner combines practical advice with the latest evidence to offer essential guidance on how to understand positive and negative emotions. Taking its reader on a tour of the most significant research from psychology, neuroscience and educational studies, it reveals that in order to ensure educational success, teachers must have a deeper understanding of how and why emotional states manifest themselves in the classroom.

Written by experienced teacher and psychologist Marc Smith, the book examines the complex relationship between cognition and emotion, clearly and thoughtfully exploring:

  • What we mean by ‘emotions’ and why they are important to learning
  • Understanding master and performance learning orientations
  • Cognition, emotion, memory and recall
  • Personality and motivation
  • Dealing with boredom in the classroom
  • Activating and deactivating emotional states
  • Navigating the teenage years
  • Understanding the positive and negative impact of anxiety and stress
  • Fear of failure, how it evolves and how to combat it.

The Emotional Learner is a compelling, accessible introduction to understanding that how we feel is intricately linked to how we learn. It will help all those involved in teaching children and young adults to challenge common-sense assumptions about the role of positive and negative emotions, showing its reader how to teach ‘with emotions in mind’ and ensure positive academic outcomes.

chapter 1|24 pages

It’s not easy being a Vulcan

chapter 2|25 pages

Masters and performers

chapter 3|18 pages

Positive and negative emotions

chapter 4|22 pages

What we think and what we feel

The complex relationship between cognition and emotion

chapter 5|27 pages

Personality, motivation and emotion

chapter 6|24 pages


chapter 7|17 pages


chapter 8|21 pages

Interest and curiosity

chapter 9|18 pages

The emotional teen

chapter 10|23 pages

Fear of failure

chapter 11|17 pages

Teaching with emotions in mind