Welcome to Harbor City International! We are a public, tuition-free charter high school located in downtown Duluth, Minnesota. Our focus is on college preparation, and we offer a rigorous academic curriculum in an atmosphere of belonging and respect. Because we are a small school with excellent student-to-teacher ratios, each student thrives under personal attention and individualized support. Our students develop critical thinking skills and a mindset of success in the care of teachers who are dedicated to the educational process and passionate about their fields of study.
We invite you to explore our website to learn more about our outstanding programs. Whether you’re interested in enrolling or you’re a current HCIS parent or student, you’ll find an abundance of information to help you make the most of your time with HCIS.
Emotions and Learning
The research on emotions and learning follows our intuitive sense that positive emotional experiences and a sense of well-being contribute to and promote learning, while negative emotional experiences inhibit learning. However, there are some subtle areas that should be clarified.
Positive emotional states help promote curiosity and exploration, which is essential to helping people build and broaden their knowledge base. Naturally, the greater a student's sense of well-being and connectedness to a supportive environment, the more likely he or she is to do well in school. Studies of learning and emotion show that positive emotional states increase one's motivation to learn, improve one's learning strategies, and improve one's academic achievement.
However, there are instances where some anxiety increases learning better than a general positive emotional state. Studying for a test provokes a natural degree of anxiety and the reaction promotes learning. Furthermore, becoming comfortable with the degree of anxiety associated with studying for a test, even practicing testing experiences, improves one's ability to manage the anxiety that is associated with testing experiences, which is a good thing.
In terms of evolution, there are some instances where fear aids in our learning by helping us isolate what we need to learn and to learn very quickly. If you are hiking in the desert and you hear the unmistakable sound of a rattlesnake, your fear reaction will help you focus on your surroundings, identify the location of the rattlesnake, and move out of harms way. You are likely to remember the circumstances of the encounter and seek to avoid similar circumstances in the future.
Using this information at Harbor City International School helps us create an environment that balances support and challenge for our students. While we are invested in our students' success, we also want them to be challenged so that they develop confidence that they can manage difficult learning experiences. Fortunately, our school is free of rattlesnakes, so we will leave the fear factor to nature.