To what extent is the deep enjoyment of flow experienced in primary classroom learning, and under what teaching and learning conditions might the deep enjoyment of flow be facilitated ?
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The primary purposes of this research were to identify if and how a selected teacher and her class experience deep enjoyment as flow in the classroom, and if they do have that experience, to investigate the teaching and learning factors that facilitate that deep enjoyment. In particular this research had the following three aims: 1. to explore the conditions and activities that are identifiable in learner's perceptions of their deep enjoyment or flow in learning. 2. to identify the component characteristics of flow articulated in the learners' stories about their enjoyable learning experiences. 3. to identify and examine perceptions of deep enjoyment or flow in learning in teacher practice and student learning through a teacher's stories of her teaching experience and through classroom observations. The research involved a case study of a teacher in a state school Year 5/6 classroom, and seventeen of her students. Qualitative data were collected from interviews with the teacher, interviews with the students, and field observations recorded in the researcher's journal over a period of several months. These data, analysed by using the NUD*IST software, provide valuable insight into how the teacher and her students perceive their teaching and learning experiences. The children and their teacher do experience enjoyment, often the deep enjoyment of flow in their classroom. A classroom culture was identified that includes teaching characteristics, environmental, and instructional variables, which help facilitate deeply enjoyable flow in meaningful learning. This research concludes that the intellectual knowledge is available which will make flow facilitating classroom cultures achievable. Achieving such a classroom culture is possible when educators identify and value the enjoyment of flow, with its subsequent sense of learner control, confidence, success, well-being, energy and motivation to learn. To do this, educators need to identify and implement the teaching and learning strategies available that facilitate the experience, with the intention of ensuring recurrent learner success from the early years of school attendance. Such a change in the educational ethos would lead to successful, enjoyable and vibrant learning experiences for teacher and learner in the classroom.
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