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Humor in Pedagogy: How Ha-Ha Can Lead to Aha!

College Teaching Volume 54, Number 1, ISSN 8756-7555


Several studies have examined the pedagogical implications and cautions concerning the use of humor in teaching. Humor has been associated with a host of positive physiological and psychological effects. Researchers have identified that educators who use humor in their instruction are more positively rated by their peers and their students; others have suggested that humor may enhance learning. Although much of this evidence has been anecdotal, the present study assesses the impact of curriculum-specific humor on retention and recall, as well as student evaluations of the course and the instructor. The appropriate use of humor in a classroom setting is discussed and cautions against tendentious humor are addressed.


Garner, R.L. (2006). Humor in Pedagogy: How Ha-Ha Can Lead to Aha!. College Teaching, 54(1), 177-180. Retrieved May 17, 2021 from .

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