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Crossover effect make students learn more

Published: 2 May 2016

Mental illness is increasing among Swedish 10-14-year-olds. At the same time international measurements shows of declining school performance. Lulea researcher Ylva Backman study 200 students in four Norrbotten schools and their experiences of conditions and relationships between learning and well-being at school.

– The students response demonstrates new ideas about what
affect learning and well being in a positive way, says Ylva Backman. For example, the learning situations outside the regular school environment, on field trips, sports days etc, are positive for pro-social behavior and how the students are doing in school, which also affects learning.

- The responses also indicate that physical activity is seen as more important for learning in academic subjects than in practical subjects.

Based on the responses  Ylva Backman identifies so-called two-way crossover effects or  circles of happiness. It's all about students experience subjective well-being or happiness when learning new things, getting involved,  interesting lessons and
when their schoolmates feel good.

In the opposite direction the students says that feeling good in school leads to better learning, greater involvement
etc. Students answered questions in writing where they both tell of when they felt goog in school, and about things that they believe supports learning if they could decide themselves.

24 interviews with questions about how students treat each other in school, ethical dilemmas and how to act, supplement the written questions.

–  That the level of well-being, specifically among students aged 10-14 years drops, have fallen a bit into oblivion in the school debate, says Ylva Backman. The students' answers show that the relationship between learning and how they are doing in school is complex. Asking students how they feel  is important in continuing
research.Their reasoning gives new hypotheses and
correspond to a high degree with previous research.