Saturday, May 9, 2009


Here's an interesting book review in the Wall Street Journal for the book "Why Students Don't Like School" that led me traipsing across the internet early this morning for more info about "flow". Even though I'm not an educator, as a worker and a manager and a mom, I want to learn more about motivation and learning. Here are some quotes:

"When we confront a task that requires us to exert mental effort, it is critical that the task be just difficult enough to hold our interest but not so difficult that we give up in frustration. When this balance is struck, it is actually pleasurable to focus the mind for long periods of time. For an example, just watch a person beavering away at a crossword or playing chess in a noisy public park. But schoolwork and classroom time rarely keep students' minds in this state of "flow" for long."

So that's why I had fun Friday working on a database project. (I love SQL but my complete lack of internet programming is holding me back. I want to and can't make a digital dashboard.)

"Is drilling worth it?" The answer is yes, because research shows that practice not only makes a skill perfect but also makes it permanent, automatic and transferable to new situations..."

Good! Another reason to tell my kids why they should do their homework. And while searching for more info on that quote I found this post by Foodservice Educators Learning Community, that says "This insight actually gave further validity to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's Flow Theory, ...which suggests that when the skill of the individual is in sync with the level of the challenge, the individual is in a state of flow and so engaged that, among other things, they lose all sense of time. When the challenge is beyond the skill level of the individual s(he) becomes anxious and when it is below the skill level s(he) becomes bored."

Which is interesting. I'd like to learn something about teaching, how can you increase someone's skill level?

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