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Transcript of Flow
-Can the same curriculum that already exists, in either the traditional education system or an adventure education, still be used in a Flow system of educating? How can we or should we determine what to teach or what is of value to individual students ?
-Should the teacher always change the level of challenge in a task to meet the students skills or should they sometimes develop the skills to meet the challenge? if so, how might they do this within that Flow system of education?
-In flow there is no need to reflect upon the immediate experience, so how can it be incorporated into adventure education where learning is often based on reflection following experiences?
What is Flow? Definitions
"The state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it." (
Csikszentmihaly, 1990, p. 4)
we make it happen, when mind and body are stretched to their limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. (Csikszentmihaly, 1990, p. 3)
Flow describes the subjective buoyancy of experience when skillful and successful action seems effortless, even when a gread deal of physical or mental energy is exerted.
Systematization of Flow
engaging students means developing their skills to meet the challenges
Whitson, C. & Consoli, J. (2009). Flow theory and student engagement.
Journal of Cross-Disciplinary
Perspectives in Education 2
(1), 40-49. Retrieved from http://mxtsch.people.wm.edu/Teaching/JCPE/
Shernoff, D. J., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2009). Flow in schools: Cultivating engaged learners and optimal
learning environments. In R. Gilman, E. S. Huebner, & M. Furlong (Eds.), Handbook of Positive Psychology in Schools (pp. 131-145). Retrieved from http://www.cedu.niu.edu/~shernoff/Shernoff%20and%20Csikszentmihalyi%20C011.pdf
-Grew up during the 1940s in the post-war, dismal environment of Eastern Europe and, despite the prevalence of destruction and despair, he was fascinated by those who were able to overcome the hardships and find a sense of happiness. This ultimately led him to the field of positive psychology.
Positive learning space
Challenge and Relevance
Confidence and Control
Concentration and Enjoyment
foundation of skills and interests for future
Involves Intellect and Emotion
effective university teacher
is one who believes in what he or she does to the point of identifying with it....Higher education succeeds or fails in terms of motivation not cognitive transfer of information. It succeeds if it instills in students a willingness to pursue knowledge for its own sake; it fails if students learn simply in order to get a degree. The best way to get students to believe that it makes sense to pursue knowledge is to believe in it one's self." (Csikszentmihalyi 1982, p 15)
Csikszentmihalyi, M. & Csikszentmihalyi, I. (1999). Adventure and the flow experience. In J.C. Miles
& S. Priest (Eds.)
, 153-157. Retrieved from https://moodle.fortlewis.edu/mod/resource/view.php?inpopup=true&id=181646
Challenge and Skill= Competency and Risk
Positive Psychology; Carl Rogers
Maslow's Hierarchy of needs
Vygotsky's Zone's of proximal Development
8 Elements of Enjoyment
Experience occurs when we confront tasks we have a chance of completing
Able to concentrate on what we are doing
Concentration is possible because the task has clear goals
Task provides immediate feed back
Involvement is so deep and effortless that it romoves from awareness the worries of frustrations of everyday life
People have a sense of control over their actions
concern for self disappears while paradoxically the sense of self emerges stronger afterward
Sense of duration of time is altered
Flow Activities Have/Require:
Rules that require learning of skills
Give a sense or perception of control
experience sampling method (ESM)-
attempt to establish phenomenological Characteristics of optimal experiences (-> what makes it a 'Flow' experience)
Rising above? Intrinsic Motivation? innate life-long-learners?
“Happiness is not something that happens….[it] is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated and defended privately by each person. People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy” (Csikszentmihalyi 1990, p. 2)
Optimal Learning Environments
Academic Intensity + positive emotional response=meaningful engagement
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1997). Finding Flow. Retrieved From http://www.psychologytoday.com/
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: Harper Collins