Thursday, October 18, 2007

Getting in the Flow

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi theorized that when a person is in a mental state that fully immerses them in what they are doing, they are in flow. A state of flow is characterised by a feeling of energised focus, when one has a distorted sense of time and lacks self consciousness.
I was so in flow this morning while working on the study skills blog that I almost forgot to get ready for work. I encourage the middle school students to immerse themselves in flow in order to augment work quality.
If we all could enter that flow not only when playing video games, as James Paul Gee suggests, but when learning any skill or strategy, I think our learning would be more effectual. If we could facilitate this flow for learners in our schools, we could ..... oh my!
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Simon said...

That's Holy Grail stuff you're talking about Durff! Having the kids in 'Flow'. Maybe that's what the focus of Classroom2.0 should be. Don't ask me how to get the kids to that point.... The person who knows should earn a fortune.

Mrs. V. said...

Just catching up on my reading, and had to stop and comment on this one. I was so excited to see someone else talking about the flow theory! I used it as a part of my presentation last year at METC on differentiation...I give kids in my 3rd grade class 30 minutes of precious time each day to explore all things educational. They spend the first few weeks trying to stay busy because they have never been given this kind of freedom before, but then they begin to inquire, collaborate, explore new tools, and create their own amazing products-some days the room is loud, but then there are days when every kid is so completely engrossed in what they are doing or talking about that I really think I could leave, and they would never miss me:) Intrinsically motivated learners-what a concept!

. said...

mrs. v - i think it is so important to understand flow that the 7th graders study the concept too! When they are in flow, the room, normally a buzz of activity, is so quiet i want to check pulses!! The other teacher in the room looks at them in amazement too - what a testimonial to the value of using these tools to get at deeper responses! Thanks for stopping by - hope you return often!

Korero Pt England said...

Hi there
I am doing a research project around how our podcast, KPE, raises student achievement in reading - with 9-11 yr olds. One of the things I discovered early on was that kids who are underachieving at reading don't actually get the opportunity to read. I am especially focusing on under achieving diverse boys.
So I instigated a 2 hr silent reading period in the school library. Optional (with classroom tchr approval) for students to drop into. the only stipulation is that the room is peaceful (ie silent). Well, you should see these kids read when they get a chance to get in the 'flow' undisturbed. I am having to force macho boys from the library at morning tea time when the session ends. "Oh Miss, please, I only have one more chapter..." the flow is very powerful.

Dorothy, Auckland NZ