Affective Learning in Higher Education

A Regional Perspective


  • Nina Evans University of South Australia
  • Tahereh Ziaian University of South Australia
  • Janet Sawyer University of South Australia
  • David Gillham Flinders University



higher education, regional engagement, mindfulness, meditation, wellbeing


A pilot study was conducted in a regional university setting to promote awareness of the value of affective teaching and learning amongst staff and students. Academic staff and students from diverse disciplines at University of South Australia’s (UniSA) Centre for Regional Engagement (CRE) were recruited to the study. The research investigated whether engagement in mindfulness meditation by lecturers can improve their mental well-being and contribute to affective teaching and learning. The findings show that staff members learned mindfulness meditation techniques, improved their concentration and mental health status and also improved with regards to the implementation of the affective teaching skills. The impact of affective teaching practices on student learning and the perceptions of students about what constitutes ‘good teaching’ were also investigated. Students reported that the affective teaching of especially excellent teachers was improved through the meditation intervention. Furthermore they reported that the most important component of affective learning is that lecturers listen to them as students. The study provides important data related to the value of affective teaching and learning in a tertiary environment, as well as the potential impact on the social responsibility of graduates employed by regional businesses.




How to Cite

Evans, N., Ziaian, T., Sawyer, J., & Gillham, D. (2013). Affective Learning in Higher Education: A Regional Perspective. Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, 23(1), 23–41.

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