Research Project: Humor in Classrooms

Nicole Berry

English Com, Section 330, Dr. Weaver

MajorPjct4 Assignment


College Instructors believe that students should learn in a solemn classroom. In a solemn classroom, students undergo eight hours of a strict and quiet environment. This is critical for students to engage in a strict and dull classroom. Instructors staying within the traditional atmosphere of a classroom cause harm. To adapt to these ongoing demands, students must develop coping strategies. One way to engage students in the classroom is by incorporating humor.

Humor serves as a language that engages and distresses students. It’s a tool for instructors to ease student learning. In the classroom teaching humor whether good or bad instructor can use humor. In ways, the instructor and students can perceive information and understand one another. Humor reinforces students other than break down the traditional method.

 Students undergo many responsibilities in their early adolescence. These changes are crucial to adolescent growth. These necessary changes conflict with the student’s ability to handles demands from school. As well as the social demands from peers, teacher, worker relate, and family. These roles are vital to society and so is the physical and mental health of a student. Students undergo a great amount of pressure in and out of school, and stress can lead to mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. Humor is a major psychological tool that can help students cope with stress, enhance their sense of well-being, boost self-image, self-esteem, self-confidence, as well as alleviate anxiety and depression (Check, 1997). A student’s response to this everchanging world could make or break the student. For students to optimize stress a coping mechanized should be developed.

  Humor can entail itself in serious topics. Discussion of the social dynamic that surrounds racism, sexism, and or homophobic jokes. This can engage students in discussion topics such as social justice. Instructors can discuss the issue in a serious tone with a flair of humor. College instructors often treat courses as something apart from the real world. Real-world problems graduate students, women, students of color, and young scholar’s encounter. Providing a strong pedagogical style of humor can provoke students to question society. If we accept that “clowning is not about entertaining an audience of spectators,” as Laurel Butler claims, but rather about “relinquishing one’s knowledge, certainties, and reliance on conventional symbols and cultural codes,” then the practices of clowning would seem to align with the goals of teaching (Butler 2017).

 The definition of humor is beyond the class clown. Rather a cultural language that breaks down barriers. It reviles discomfort in a social setting and difficult topics on issues. In countries, like Pakistan instructors are using the traditional, old method to educate. This old method has come to an end as new methods are emerging its way into Pakistan. Researchers in Pakistan researched to study the effect of humor. The study called the Psychometric Properties of the Scales survey involved 100 students.

 The main aim of this study is to investigate the different effects of humor on participants. Studies have shown that students in Pakistan engaged in subjects. In the study, there was a positive correlation between students and teachers. Students reported being motivated, less anxiety, and class engagement. Humor as a single continuous predictor explained almost 50% of the variance in overall teaching effectiveness (Shahid, Ifra, Ghazal 2019). Students also reported their favorite instructors created a fun environment. Teachers who used humor were significantly rated higher, than those who did not, on motivation, anxiety reduction, class engagement; thought stimulation, fostering positive student teacher relationship, and overall teaching effectiveness (Shahid, Ifra, Ghazal 2019). Humor has the power to provide a stress-free environment in which students share ideas.

Humor types various from environmental factors that affect the student’s response to life. Humor is influence by family, peers, media, and school. The influence of the classroom affects students’ motivation to study and complete assignments. Instructors are role models that should moderate humor rather than offend students. The results from Wentzel’s (2002) study of sixth graders indicate that the teacher’s modeling of motivation toward schoolwork explained significant amounts of the variance in students ‘social behavior at school (Wentzel’s 2002).

 Formal education has become less valuable. Students’ lack of interest often due to boredom and strict instructors. Students’ lack of interest is the amount of demand that leads to stress. The amount of stress that sometimes declines students’ focus and interest. When students identify a good instructor, many notice the sense of humor. Enthusiastic instructors spend time thinking about ways to present course information in creative, interesting, and positive ways that will be memorable for students in many years to come (Pollak and Freda, 1997).  Humor is a social and cognitive benefit that engages students. Instructors are more likely to create serious classrooms with a flair of humor. Overall, humor is an appreciated teaching tool for college instructors, and is an integral component for student learning if instructors are using it appropriately, constructively, and in moderation (Lei, Jillian, Kristen 2010).



Shahid, Ifra, and Saima Ghazal. “Humor as a tool to Teaching Effectiveness.” Journal of Behavioral Sciences 29.1 (2019).

Lei, Simon A., Jillian L. Cohen, and Kristen M. Russler. “Humor on learning in the college classroom: Evaluating benefits and drawbacks from instructors’ perspectives.” Journal of instructional Psychology 37.4 (2010): 326-332.

Chiang, Yi-Chen, Chun-Yang Lee, and Hong-Huei Wang. “Effects of classroom humor climate and acceptance of humor messages on adolescents’ expressions of humor.” Child & Youth Care Forum. Vol. 45. No. 4. Springer US, 2016.

Pozsonyi, Kriszta, and Seth Soulstein. “Classroom clowning: Teaching (with) humor in the media classroom.” JCMS: Journal of Cinema and Media Studies 58.3 (2019): 148-154.

Laurel Butler, “‘Everything Seemed New’: Clown as Embodied Critical Pedagogy,” Theatre Topics 22, no. 1 (2012): 71

Check, J. (1997). Humor in education. Physical Educator, 54(3), 165-167

Wentzel, K. R. (2002). Are effective teachers like good parents? Teaching styles and student adjustment in early adolescence. Child Development, 73, 287–301

Pollak, J., & Freda, P. (1997). Humor, learning, and socialization in middle level classrooms. Clearing House, 70(4), 176-179

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