Think about a time when you were really engaged in something, the kind of engagement where you lose track of time and experience feelings of joy and satisfaction. You may have felt acutely focused, physically, mentally, and emotionally absorbed in a task. I've felt this most often while writing, reading, teaching, and coaching -- always signaled by the moment when I notice the clock and, feeling dazed, wonder where the hours have gone.
The feelings are pleasant and there are always outcomes, a chapter written, or a complicated dilemma unraveled, for example. It wasn't until I heard about the work of the Hungarian psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, that I learned that this notion has a name: Flow.
I would like to urge the education community to move beyond a discussion of "engagement," with its vague definitions and murky attributes, to a conversation on flow; I'd like to propose that our task as educators is to increase the experiences of flow for students.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc