This video is about Flow Theory.

if we want students to be fully empowered to own the creative process, we need to understand what it means for students to reach a state of creative flow.

The History of the Theory
Although the idea of Flow has existed for thousands of years, Flow Theory began in the 1970’s and 80’s when Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi became fascinated by artists who were so lost in their creative work that they would lose track of time and even ignore food, water, and sleep.

Through his research, he noticed a similar experience with scientists, athletes, and authors. It was a state of hyper-focus and complete engagement that he described as “optimal experience.”

#2: The Basics of the Theory
Researchers do not have one single working model for flow theory. However, the following are five factors identified by Csikszentmihalyi and Nakumara as vital for achieving a state of flow.

#1: It needs to be a task that you find intrinsically rewarding
#2: You need clear goals and a sense of progress
#3: The task needs clear and immediate feedback
#4: The challenge must match the perceived skills. This requires a sense of personal control or agency over the task.
In 1987, Massimini, Csíkszentmihályi and Carli published the 8-channel model of flow shown here. Note that if a task is too easy, you might experience apathy or boredom but if a task seems too hard, you’ll be anxious.
#5: Requires intense focus on the present moment

#3: What Does This Look Like in School?

Tap into instrinsic motivation
Embrace student choice and agency.
Provide the right scaffolding so that students can match the challenge level to their ability levels.
Minimize distractions so that students can focus on their learning. Change the pacing so that you have fewer tasks and more time. Here, students can enter into a state of what Cal Newport calls “deep work.”
Help students learn to monitor their own progress through metacognition. Teach them to set goals, analyze tasks, figure out what they need to do, make adjustments in the moment, and reflect on their progress in the end.

Patall, E. A., Cooper, H., & Robinson, J. C. (2008). The effects of choice on intrinsic motivation and related outcomes: A meta-analysis of research findings. Psychological Bulletin, 134(2), 270-300.

Schlechty, P. C. (2001). Shaking up the schoolhouse. San Fransisco, USA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Schlechty, P. C. (2002). Working on the work an action plan for teachers, principals and superintendents (1st ed.). San Fransisco, USA: Jossey Bass.

Schlechty, P. (2011). Schlechty center on engagement. Retrieved from www.schlechty"> 15798

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