Fear and Learning

Perry, B. D. (2006). Fear and learning: Trauma-Related factors in the adult education process. In S. Johnson & K. Taylor (Eds.), The neuroscience of adult learning, pp. 21-34.

The Brain

·      The Response to Threat

o   "Fear destroys the capacity to learn (p. 23)."

·      How Fear Changes Thinking, Feeling, and Behaving

·      Baseline State of a Traumatized Learner

o   Adults must feel safe. Therefore, educators must create a safe, trusting learning environment

·      Retrieving Information in a State of Fear

o   "Regression, a retreat to a less mature style of functioning and behavior, is commonly observed in all of us when we are physically ill, sleep-deprived, hungry, fatigued, or anxious (p. 26)."


Safety and Learning

·      "Optimal learning depends on this process - a cycle of curiosity, exploration, discovery, practice, and mastery - which leads to pleasure, satisfaction, and the confidence to once again set out and explore (p. 26)."

·      "A creative and respectful educator can create safety by making the learning environment more familiar, structured, and predictable (p. 27)." Predictability refers to consistency not rigidity.