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Imagine a world where time in the classroom flies. Students understand and engage in the information presented. They are not distracted by other students in the class, and most importantly, enjoy what they are learning. Sounds too good to be true?
What if we were to tell you that there is a way to foster this experience–both at home and at school. Where the onus isn’t solely on the teacher/parent. Instead, the students have the power to optimise their own experience and facilitate flow.
Below, we look at how we can make this happen.
The term ‘flow’ is well established with over 40 years of research within psychology, physiology and neuroscience. Flow is an optimal state of functioning where there is total concentration on the task at hand and total absorption to the task within the moment. The present-focus replaces any self-concern, and the student enjoys an inherent enjoyment of the moment. The experience feels effortless, and we are able to execute the exact skill required with complete control.
If you want to know more, please look at our FREE introduction to flow.
Flow is more acknowledged during acts of excellence in pressured situations, like a high performance in an examination. But flow can also occur in everyday learning experiences.
Previous research suggests that finding flow in education induces the short term benefits of enjoyment, gratification, and a sense of mastery from learning tasks, for both teachers and students. Longer term benefits include academic confidence, a desire to seek further education, and a predictor of future academic performance.
The process of seeking flow induces a growth principle. The student grows, develops and fulfils their potential by constantly extending themselves beyond their perceived ability (due to the nature of pursuing flow states). This 'stretching' process of exploring one's learning ability, feels so good, regardless of the outcome, that the student is compelled to repeat this experience enabling continuous growth. Which is why finding oneself in an optimal state of functioning frequently is also positively correlated with well-being.
As well as well-being flow fosters motivation and creativity, but perhaps most importantly, a sustainable performance. When students are able to find flow at school, learning becomes a rich and meaningful experience, helping them to digest more information and increase their motivation towards their studies.