ERIC Number: ED409215
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar-28
Flow Theory as a Construct for Analyzing Learning Environments in a 7th-Grade Science Classroom.
Boyer, Steven E.; Lamoreaux, C. Douglas
This research effort sought to identify pathways and blockages to flow (the having of optimal experiences) in the daily activities of teachers and students and to develop a critically reflective pedagogy to enhance the probability of flow for teachers and students alike. The critically reflective approach contained elements such as an autobiographical narrative of the teacher's affective response to the classroom experience, fieldnotes and lesson plans, student surveys, and interviews with and diaries from a few selected students. Findings indicate that for the majority of students, school was an enjoyable experience only to the extent that it provided opportunities to be with friends or to participate in sports. Students cited numerous reasons that they did not enjoy school, most of those reasons stemming from control issues including excessive work load, and little control over the content or conduct of classes or the use of time. Many students mentioned stress derived from the behavior of both their fellow students and teachers. A liberal interpretation of the surveys indicates that approximately 1/3 of the students exhibited symptoms suggestive of flow or optimal experience; for approximately 1/2 of the students, anxiety pervaded their daily school experience. Seventeen percent of the students suffered from boredom. Contains 20 references. (Author/JRH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).