The state of “Flow”

Classroom engagement is essential for learning. Even one disengaged student is easy to recognize. In fact, we usually experience them! They can throw off the entire lesson.

It was interesting to look at the intrinically motivated learner that is fully engaged in the class. The one that doesn’t stand out! What drives them and how do others get ‘what they have’?

‘Flow’, that place where you are so immersed in the task at hand that time passes without notice. Csikszentmihalyi’s concept…when we experience flow, action and awareness merge… we are so absorbed in the task at hand that irrelevent stimuli disappear from consciousness” (Barkley, p.13, 2010).

I absolutely love it when I am in that place of being fully engaged in a task! In the zone… feeling like I have accomplished greatness! When this happens I want more. And I don’t always experience it but as a self-directed learner I will push through the assignments that ‘have to be done’.

It is a fact that learners may not choose courses purely out of interest.Each one is in the class for their own reason.  Is it possible to create ‘flow’ in a class of learners? This article opens up some thinking …



Barkley, E. F. (2009). Student engagement techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco, CA: Wiley, John & Sons.


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