“As a young naturalist I realized there is a sequence for games and activities that, regardless of a group’s age, mood, and culture, always seems to work best. People everywhere respond to this sequence because it is in harmony with deeper aspects of human nature.”Joseph Bharat Cornell
Joseph Bharat Cornell, the founder of the movement Sharing Nature Worldwide, creates Flow Learning as a simple, yet subtle and powerful system of teaching based on universal principles of awareness and how people learn. Flow Learning™ is easily adapted from its origins in nature education to a broad-based approach that lets teachers in any discipline help students gain an intuitive as well as an intellectual understanding of the subject matter.
There are four phases to the process:
Awaken Enthusiasm, Focus Attention, Direct Experience, and Share Inspiration.
This sequence provides a simple framework that allows the teacher to structure classes for best effect. You can meet people where they are in interest and energy level, and then guide them step-by-step toward more meaningful and profound learning experiences.
Without enthusiasm, people learn very little, and can never have a meaningful experience of learning. Enthusiasm is an intense flow of personal interest and alertness. Awaken Enthusiasm games develop alertness and overcome passivity, creating involvement and establishing a rapport between teacher, student and subject, fostering positive group bounding. Time spent in creating an atmosphere of curiosity, amusement, or personal interest is invaluable because once students’ enthusiasm is engaged, their energy can be focused on the upcoming lesson or experience.
Without focused attention and concentration no true learning can take place. If our thoughts are scattered, we can’t be intensely aware of anything. We want to bring students’ enthusiasm toward a calm focus. Focus Attention activities help students become attentive and receptive, increasing concentration, deepening awareness and calming the mind.
Offer Direct Experience
Once students’ interest and energy is awakened and focused, the stage is set for deeply experiencing activities. During immersive direct experiences, students make a deep connection with the objects of their learning, fostering intuitive understanding and promoting personal revelation and inspiration.This stage inspires wonder, empathy and love helping us discover a deep, inner sense of belonging and understanding.
Reflecting and sharing with others strengthen and clarify one’s experience. Sharing brings to the surface unspoken but often universal feelings that—once communicated—allow people to feel a closer bond with the topic and with one another. Giving students the opportunity to share their experience increases the learning for the entire class. Sharing brings everyone together and creates a sense of completion and an uplifting atmosphere, making it much easier for the teacher to share inspirational ideas and stories.
Flow Learning’s four stages flow naturally from one to the next. Each stage contains activities that are joyful, intellectually stimulating, and highly engaging.