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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Got Flow?

Hours felt like minutes.
I was immersed.
It rocked.

What do these statements describe?

The first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t learning. But why not? I just finished Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow and all I thought about was learning.

Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of Flow and its 8 components as summarized on wikipedia:
  1. Clear goals (expectations and rules are discernable).

  2. Concentrating and focusing, a high degree of concentration on a limited field of attention (a person engaged in the activity will have the opportunity to focus and to delve deeply into it).

  3. A loss of the feeling of self-consciousness, the merging of action and awareness.

  4. Distorted sense of time - our subjective experience of time is altered.

  5. Direct and immediate feedback (successes and failures in the course of the activity are apparent, so that behavior can be adjusted as needed).

  6. Balance between ability level and challenge (the activity is neither too easy nor too difficult).

  7. A sense of personal control over the situation or activity.

  8. The activity is intrinsically rewarding, so there is an effortlessness of action.
It should come as no surprise that these are also the qualities of effective learning experiences. Classrooms that FLOW are populated with students and teachers that kick ass. They are spaces of
  • Discovery

  • Challenge

  • Self-expression

  • Social framework

  • Cognitive Arousal

  • Thrill

  • Triumph

  • Accomplishment

  • Fantasy

  • Learning

Ever been in a classroom that Flowed?

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