International Education Journal

Special Issue: International Perspectives on Giftedness

contentsBack

download View Complete Article

Acrobat Reader Install Acrobat Reader

Humour in cognitive and social development: Creative artists and class clowns


Paul Jewell 
School of Education, Flinders University South Australia 
paul.jewell@flinders.edu.au

 

download Read complete article

Abstract

There are a number of characteristics of gifted children reported by teachers and researchers. Such characteristics may include curiosity, advanced mathematical skills, large vocabulary, acute sense of humour. This paper examines the demands that humour, as a creative activity, makes on cognitive and social development. It is derived from research that includes interviews with renowned professional humorists and examination of their work. The production of humour requires a sophisticated cognitive ability in order to relate multilevel disparate concepts. Furthermore, to amuse an audience, a humorist needs a high level of empathy, the ability to see the world from another's point of view, and a sensitivity to people's feelings and beliefs. On the other hand, much humour is cruel, and class clowns are seriously disruptive. An understanding of humour in the context of social and cognitive development reconciles these contrasts and suggests appropriate responses. 

Humour, gifted, cognitive, creativity, empathy

top

Jewell, P. (2005) Humour in cognitive and social development: Creative artists and class clowns. International Education Journal, 6(2), 200-205. 
http://iej.cjb.net

All text and graphics © 1999-2005 Shannon Research Press. ISSN 1443-1475.