The following is from an article in the K-State News Insider (online).

By playing the video game Rock Band for an hour, K-State students were able to help a pair of psychology professors with their research to understand how people can achieve flow while at work or while performing skilled tasks.

Clive Fullagar, a professor, and Patrick Knight, an associate professor, found that — like Goldilocks — most people achieve flow with work that is neither too easy nor too hard but just right.

“For those students who have a moderate level of skill at Rock Band, the song has to be moderately challenging and match his or her skill level for optimal enjoyment to occur,” Fullagar said. “That has broad implications for teaching. It means that if we want students to enjoy or get a lot of satisfaction out of classes, we need to assign them challenging tasks but make sure that they have the skills necessary to meet the challenges of those tasks.”  [Emphasis added]

The researchers wanted to see how people achieve flow — a state of mind that occurs when people become totally immersed in what they are doing and lose all sense of time. It’s an intrinsically motivating state, which means that people are engaged in the task for the pure enjoyment of performing the task and not for some extrinsic reward.

Posted in Research


This is “RESEARCH”??   News-worthy research??  Please show me one teacher for whom the above is news. 

The difficult part for every teacher is of course to find “challenging tasks” while making sure that the student has “the skills necessary to meet the challenges” – and that’s where even the most experienced teachers once in a while fail.  Perhaps not because they weren’t paying attention but because students have a habit of learning not in a straight line but in phases:  it is perfectly possible for a student to struggle with a concept for quite a while, and then suddenly, seemingly out of the blue, they get it.  Sudden change of skill level.

Or, your beginning piano student suddenly doesn’t even remember where Middle C is because “we got a new puppy!!” …  Sudden, if temporary, change of skill level.  

But, please, do we really need “research” to prove what every teacher already knows and aims to incorporate in his/her teaching??