Boredom and Schooling: A cross-disciplinary exploration

Teresa Belton, Esther Priyadharshini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


This paper undertakes a wide‐ranging exploration of the concept of boredom from contrasting perspectives across different disciplines with a view to informing the pedagogy of schooling. It notes the rise of the concept in recent times, and juxtaposes diverse views on the perceived forms, causes, effects and responses to boredom, along the way referring to implications for schooling. Based on this examination, the paper puts forward the idea that boredom needs to be recognized as a legitimate human emotion that can be central to learning and creativity. At the same time, it also points out that there is room to reimagine a pedagogy that can engage in a more informed manner with the complexity of the experience and concludes with an exploration of some concepts—autonomy and control, struggle and flow—which can help in this endeavour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579 - 595
Number of pages17
JournalCambridge Journal of Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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