Here is this idea I have been pondering.  I have come upon a reference to the experience of flow  in three different books – same words, same reference.  I think I should pay attention.

Flow is a concept defined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  I read with interest this definition in Enthusiastic Engaged Learners by Marilou Hyson:

“Csikszentmihalyi describes flow as the ultimate level of attention, absorption, and deep engagement in an activity, when people are so attentive to the task at hand that they lose awareness of time and space.” (p. 22). 

Within days I found a reference to flow and the work of young children in Vivian Paley’s book, The boy on the beach: building community through play and Play: how it shapes the brain, opens the imagination, and invigorates the soul by Stuart Brown.  I went looking for more information on this idea and found another book, Good Work: when excellence and ethics meet by Howard Gardner and Csikszentmihalyi (and if you continue the search, you will find a TED video and other references).  So, I have been pondering this idea of flow and wondering how to differentiate between activities that are engaging for the fun factor and times when we experience this deeper engagement called flow. 

The pondering and wondering will continue as I visit classrooms and observe children and teachers playing and working together.  I think this might be a writing trigger for me this fall.