Teachers' Perception of Humor and Laughter as Pedagogical Tools for Promoting Learning in Kogi State College of Education, Ankpa, Nigeria

Article excerpt


This paper examined the knowledge of teachers of Kogi State College of Education, Ankpa, about the pedagogical relevance of humor and laughter in view of their consequentiality to teaching and learning and how they could be used to encourage classroom attendance for learners' who misunderstand "academic freedom" to be truancy, absenteeism and lateness to classes. Areas of close examinations were the educational relevance of humor and laughter and how they could impact on learning, the various types of humor available to the teacher for use, the forms that humor could take to make it effective and possible hindrances to effective use of humor in achieving desired goals. Five research questions were drawn from the five purposes established for the study. The data for the study were collected from 120 teachers in the college through accidental sampling procedure using 42 item designed questionnaires by the researchers. The questionnaires were of a four-point likert type. The acceptable mean score was 2.50, meaning that any item with a mean score of 2.50 and above is accepted as positive while scores below 2.50, were termed negative and rejected. The data were analyzed using tables, means and standard deviations. The findings of the study included that teachers are aware about the educational benefits of laughter, that humor and laughter could make teaching and learning to be fun, improves relationships between the teacher and students as well as between the students themselves. Recommendations were that teachers should have senses of humor and should not be afraid to use them, should use humor and laughter to contribute to class unity and that humor should not be used to run any student down; it should not be on disability and should not be delivered through insults and sarcasm among others.

Keywords: teachers' perception, Humor, laughter, tools, promoting, learning.


Teachers make learning happen in the classroom. This makes them (teachers) indispensable to learning because no matter how beautifully designed the curriculum is and how conducive the classroom environment and learning materials are, without the teacher, all things being equal, effective learning cannot take place. The effectiveness of the teacher is dependent on how knowledgeable he is about the subject matter as well as the methods with which he delivers the lesson. There are so many of such teaching methods as lecture, demonstration, dramatization, discussion as well as play way methods among others that are available to the teacher to use to promote teaching as well as learning. In higher institutions of learning in Nigeria, the predominant method of teaching is lecture. One of the characteristics and criticisms of this method is that it is teacher dominated; the teacher does the talking mostly while the learners are made redundant and passive. When learners lose interest in the teacher and his teaching method, the resultant effect is obvious-poor learning and comprehension. This passivity of learners could be broken if the teacher can occasionally colorize his teaching with the use of humor.

Humor according to Hornby (2010) is the quality in something that makes it funny or amusing, the ability to laugh at things that are amusing. The outcome of humor most times is laughter. To laugh is to make the sounds of movement of one's face that will show that one is happy or think something is funny (Hornby, 2010). Laughter is always the outward manifestation of the presence of joy and happiness. It is not exclusive to a race, class of people or a particular nation; rather, it is universal as well as contagious. Both humor and laughter are used complementarily and they could be regarded as the two sides of the same coin. Humor and laughter enhance conviviality, radiance and ecstasy of people in a group. It lightens both the emotional and psychological burdens of people and could be used even in very serious sad situations. …