As I read Pink talk about the flow I constantly reflected on this concept in the realm of education. Each and every day teachers are asked to help students to learn something new…create something new…do something new. However, the difficult thing is trying to establish what the Goldilocks are for each student. This is what makes great teachers so incredible. They somehow are able to find the flow with each of their students through differentiation. Providing a more challenging task for some learners who are ready for it, yet finding other tasks that may not be as difficult but are just as challenging for other learners. All the while the teacher is creating an atmosphere where the students are stretched just out of their comfort zone. The students accept this challenge because of a desire inside them to succeed.
Does the “flow” happen at all times? Not always, but in those situations where it isn’t present, we quickly see why it is so important to work towards. If a task requires skills that far exceed abilities, the result is anxiety. On the other hand, if the task requires less skill than a person possesses the result is boredom. In either case the result is something that we want to avoid.
As a parent, I now find myself pondering the flow with my own children. I have always been told that as a parent, I need to let my children fail sometimes. If I just “give in” and do things for them, they end up not learning and come to expect that people will do things for them. Most importantly I end up chipping away at the desire to accomplish something and that rewarding feeling that comes from getting the job done.
Be on the lookout for more from DRiVE in the upcoming weeks!