Thinking and Learning on the Emotional Frontier

By Lesley Caust.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In this paper, I explore the ideas of the theoretical physicist David Bohm, the psychoanalysts Lacan and Irigaray and those of psychologists and educationalists Peter Salovey, Howard Gardner and Edward de Bono in order to consider a range of problems and issues that inform our thinking. It seems that thinking can, on the one hand, be the source of our problems and difficulties in learning or, on the other hand, be the source of our freedom and creativity in learning. At times, thought controls us and at other times we are in control of our thinking, it could be argued. Bohm likes to think of thoughts as a system informed by the body, feelings, states of mind, historical associations and emotional associations and much more. Here the work of Lacan provides a most interesting parallel where the unconscious mind may sabotage our inspired or intuitive thinking or perhaps, on the other hand, provide a creative aspect that could remain untapped. Is thinking structured like a language one may ask? Irigaray has suggested that the unconscious may be gendered which further complicates our thinking processes and forces us to factor in the sexed body as a key element, especially in the intricate emotional fabric informing our thinking landscape. Finally, I argue that it is our emotional fluency that enables us to navigate the rough terrain of the thinking landscape, one that is often imposed on us by others, institutions and cultures. This landscape can be challenged by our creative spirit, our passion for something ‘other’ and our desire to grow and learn as we age. The emotional fabric of our lives is intimately connected to creativity, I argue, and may remain untapped unless there is a conscious desire to learn and grow. Explorations into our emotional life force us to examine the depths of our thinking. In this way, we can make our learning come alive from the inside out, rather than as something imposed from the outside. Ultimately, creative and inspired thinking and learning is open to all.

Keywords: Emotional Fluency, Thinking, Learning, Creativity, Innovative or Intuitive Thinking, Sexed Subjectivity, Sexuate Difference, Thinking Landscape, Emotional Fabric

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp.69-80. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.234MB).

Dr. Lesley Caust

Teacher, Department of English, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Lesley has taught gender studies, sociology, philosophy and political science at Monash, RMIT and Deakin Universities for 15 years. Her most recent International Conference Papers were presented at Oxford (Outcomes-based education and emotional intelligence) and Glasgow Universities (“The Teacher” as the focus for self-reflection and inner growth) in July, 2008. Her PhD in Philosophy (2007) is now a book entitled The Irreducible Other: The Second Sex Meets This Sex Which Is Not One; women, subjectivity and ethics in Beauvoir and Irigaray. Lesley currently teaches English at Shelford Girls’ Grammar, Melbourne.


There are currently no reviews of this product.

Write a Review