Hello and welcome to episode number five. Today is a special episode of the Laughter Research podcast for me for a few reasons. First off, it’s my first on site recording. I didn’t record this one over Skype, so the audio may sound a little different to what you’re used to hearing. I actually brought my recording gear out to St. Brendan’s National School in Loughshinny, where I did the recording, so be prepared for a little background noise.
Another reason why this show is somewhat different is because it serves two purposes. The first being that of a regular podcast – where I talk to my guests about laughter and how they implement it in their particular circumstances, but the second purpose is more specific. There’s a reason why the theme of this episode is laughter in the classroom. I was honoured to have recently been asked to give a guest lecture on the very subject of laughter in the classroom to a group of future teachers, who are in training in St. Patrick’s College in Drumcondra in Dublin.
(a Big hello to everyone who attended the lecture – thank you for the warm welcome, I really enjoyed it).
As I have a background in Applied psychology, I love to hear about more than just the theory of a subject. I like to learn about practical applications of it and I wanted to give the trainee teachers something more substantial and applied than a theoretical lecture,
Since time and attention spans are limited resources when you’re giving a lecture, I wanted the student teachers to get to hear from a true expert on the subject of laughter in the classroom and who better than a principal of a primary school? Especially a principal who likes a good laugh.
So, today’s guest is Niall Mulvey, principal of St. Brendan’s National school in the beautiful seaside town of Loughshinny, Co. Dublin. Niall has been working in Loughshinny for 25 years, with 20 of those years teaching 6th class students. Niall shares some valuable insights into the experience of sharing laughter and learning with young children and he explains how, once children understand the parameters of acceptable behaviour, laughter can enhance the educational and social experience for the children and teachers alike.