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ERIC Number: EJ926688
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-0309-0590
Learning in the Panic Zone: Strategies for Managing Learner Anxiety
Palethorpe, Rob; Wilson, John P.
Journal of European Industrial Training, v35 n5 p420-438 2011
Purpose: This study aims to highlight the value of stressful and challenging environments as a strategy to enhance learning and to provide an inventory of strategies for use in cases where participants experience anxiety-related blockages to learning. Design/methodology/approach: This article adopted a qualitative research strategy which consisted of a literature review which was then triangulated with a survey and practitioner interviews. Findings: This paper describes the behaviour of anxious learners when faced with a stressful learning environment. It then reviews suggestions from the literature which indicate theoretical solutions to debilitating anxiety and, finally, reports on the techniques that trainers actually use when helping delegates to overcome anxiety-related blockages to learning. The Yerkes-Dodson law, and not Rohnke, would appear to be the foundation for the various "comfort-stretch-panic" models. Moderate levels of stress would appear to encourage and stimulate learning. Research limitations/implications: The findings are presented as an initial investigation only, and further work would be required to indicate if the experiences of this small sample are representative of the wider population of training and development practitioners. Further work is being undertaken to categorise approaches to resolving debilitating learner anxiety and to develop a simple practitioner-oriented model which may assist trainers who face this issue. Practical implications: Anxiety is idiosyncratic and therefore it is difficult to design programmes which provide optimum development opportunities for all delegates. The article provides practical guidelines for trainers who wish to make use of challenging activities but who, as a result, need occasional recourse to strategies to alleviate any temporary debilitating state anxiety that delegates might experience. Originality/value: This paper investigates the role of anxiety on learning and makes the case for the inclusion of carefully-managed challenging learning environments in contrast to the majority of articles which advocate supportive learning environments. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom