Flow - The Flowing of Knowledge: Achieving Flow through...

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The Flow ing of Knowledge: Achieving Flow through Learning Critical Application of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow Laura Ptak Dr. Gerry Erion
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November 24, 2007 Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi believes that many of us often encounter a deeply enjoyable “flow” like experience, which we often just think of as being “in the zone” and “focused.” Common examples of these enjoyable activities include game playing, doing puzzles, or competing in sports. But is it possible to achieve flow with an academic activity? According to Csikszentmihalyi, there are certain criteria that must be met to achieve this state, but it seems possible to enjoy learning and studying. The first of these criteria is the activity must be of a certain level of challenge (Csikszentmihalyi 49). This level must be appropriate for the skill level we possess. If it is harder, then we lose some of the focus on that task and become discouraged. If it is too easy, then we are quickly bored with the task. Second, we need to be so extremely concentrated on that activity that our actions completely fill our awareness (Csikszentmihalyi 53). We must be so focused on completing the task that all of our concentration and focus is on the task itself instead of on other things that could distract us.
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Third, there should be goals pursued as part of the task to be completed (Csikszentmihalyi 54). It is both the goals and the feedback that we receive from the task that help us to maintain our focus on the event. The feedback allows us to stay on target toward the goal at hand and measure our progress toward that goal as encouragement. One of the most widely felt an effect of “flow” occurs with the loss of self- consciousness (Csikszentmihalyi 62) and our distorted perception of time (Csikszentmihalyi 66). We do not worry as much about how we look when we are truly engaged. Also, almost everyone has lost track of time at one point or another
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This note was uploaded on 04/25/2008 for the course GEN 110 taught by Professor Erion during the Fall '07 term at Medaille.

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Flow - The Flowing of Knowledge: Achieving Flow through...

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