Flow in Schools Revisited

Cultivating Engaged Learners and Optimal Learning Environments

Authored by: David J. Shernoff , Beheshteh Abdi , Brett Anderson , Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Handbook of Positive Psychology in Schools

Print publication date:  March  2014
Online publication date:  February  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415621854
eBook ISBN: 9780203106525
Adobe ISBN: 9781136258398


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Public schools are continually characterized by pervasive boredom (Goodlad, 1984; Steinberg, Brown, & Dornbusch, 1996). For example, the 2009 High School Survey of Student Engagement found that two thirds (66%) of students reported being bored at least every day in high school, and approximately one in six students (17%) was bored in every class (Yazzie-Mintz, 2010). Of concern to teachers for decades (Pickens, 2007; Singh, Granville, & Dika, 2002; Theobald, 2006), boredom and apathy in class are primary reasons that many students do not become engaged in school (Pekrun, Goetz, Daniels, Stupnisky, & Perry, 2010). Studies have reported that disengagement is strongly related to poor attendance and dropout, substance abuse, and criminal offending (Conner & Pope, 2014; Henry, Knight & Thornberry, 2011). Pervasive student disengagement is both a national and an international problem, with 20 to 25% of students in 28 OECD countries (i.e., those belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation) classified as having low participation and/or a low sense of belonging (Willms, 2003).

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