Flow Learning™ is a simple, yet subtle and powerful system of
teaching based on universal principles of awareness and how people learn.
guides people, step by step, to deeper, more profound experiences of
nature. Flow Learning™ also is very adaptable and can be used to
teach any subject matter. Its goal is to give participant an intuitive
as well as an intellectual understanding. It has four stages:
I. Awaken Enthusiasm,
II. Focus Attention,
III. Direct Experience, and
IV. Share Inspiration.
The Flow Learning Chart below outlines the educational
benefits that each stage offers.
MORE ABOUT FLOW LEARNING:
"Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I
can move the world." When
Archimedes said this he was emphasizing the power of the lever.
Simple tools can be some of the most effective. Flow Learning is
tool for us as educators.
1. Awaken Enthusiasm - People learn if the subject matter is
meaningful, useful, fun, or in some way engages their emotions.
in creating an atmosphere of curiosity, amusement, or personal
interest is invaluable
because once the participants' enthusiasm is engaged, their
energy can be focused on the upcoming lesson or experience.
2. Focus Attention - Some participants' minds can be compared to a
team of wild horses running out of control. Without concentration no
learning can take place. The activities in this stage challenge the
players in fun and creative ways. To successfully meet these "challenges" the
players have to concentrate on one of their physical senses. In doing
so, they become more calm, observant and receptive to their surroundings.
3. Direct Experience - Once the participants' interest and energy is
awakened and focused, the stage is set for deeply experiencing nature.
These absorbing, experiential activities have a dramatic impact that
involves people directly with nature. These games help us discover
a deep, inner sense of belonging and understanding. If people are to
develop a love and concern for the earth, they need these direct experiences;
otherwise, their knowing remains remote and theoretical and never touches
4. Share Inspiration - This stage
provides an interesting way for participants to reflect together
on what they
have learned. In our
participants and teachers alike often rush from one activity to another.
Yet taking the time to reflect upon an experience can strengthen
and deepen that experience. It need not take long. It can be as simple
as responding to a few questions, writing a journal entry, or drawing
picture. Goethe said, "A joy shared is a joy doubled." Giving
participants the opportunity to share their experience increases
the learning for the entire class. Sharing also brings everyone together
and creates an uplifting atmosphere, making it much easier for the
teacher to share inspirational ideas and stories.
- Increases attention span
- Deepens awareness by focusing attention
- Positively channels enthusiasm
generated in Stage 1
- Develops observational skills
- Calms the mind
- Develops receptivity for more sensitive nature
to http://www.sharingnature.com/Focus.html for
an online example)
- People learn best by personal discovery
- Gives direct, experiential,
- Fosters wonder, empathy and love
- Develops personal commitment to
(go to http://www.sharingnature.com/Direct.html for
an online example)
- Clarifies and strengthens personal experiences
- Builds on uplifted
- Introduces inspiring role models
- Creates group bonding
- Increases learning for everyone
- Provides feedback for the leader
- Leader can share inspiration with
a receptive audience
(go to http://www.sharingnature.com/Share.html for an online example)
Flow Learning activities can be organized
in a variety of ways to fit almost any theme based outdoor
activity like local ecology, birding, tracking etc.
If you would like to know more about Flow
Learning, please see the book
by Joseph Cornell called, Sharing the Joy of Nature. If you are a classroom
teacher, you'll enjoy using the Sharing Nature Teacher Guides, by Bruce
and Carol Malnor. This series has many excellent lesson plans for incorporating
Flow Learning in the classroom.