The paper presents an educative experience organized in a postgraduate course in a faculty of education with the aim of facilitating students’ “affective self-understanding”. Affective self-understanding is a reflective practice that allows people to comprehend their own emotions in order to gain awareness of them.

Students were spontaneously engaged in a laboratory, where they were invited to reflect on their emotional lives. The educative experience was subdivided into different phases requiring writing and analysis tasks.

At the end of the experience, students were asked what they thought they had learned, what had been difficult, and what had been the most important phase for learning. Students’ answers were analyzed on the basis of grounded theory through an inductive process of analysis.

The theoretical framework of the research is the cognitive theory of emotions. According to this theory, an emotional education is possible because we can understand emotions by identifying their cognitive component and the actions they induce.


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