The use of Flow Learning ... makes education about the environment a joy to teach. People's faces light up with sheer joy and inner understanding.
—David Tribe, retired Environmental Education Chief, Department of Education, New South Wales, Australia
This sequence provides a simple framework that allows you to structure nature awareness 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 nature experiences.
Flow Learning’s four stages flow naturally from one to the next. Each stage contains nature activities that are easy to play, joyful, intellectually stimulating, and highly engaging.
Flow Learning can be used successfully in sessions lasting from thirty minutes to all day. Although it was originally developed for teaching outdoor nature classes, it can be used to teach any subject matter, indoors or outdoors.
The FLOW LEARNING sequence:
- Stage One: Awaken Enthusiasm
- Stage Two: Focus Attention
- Stage Three: Offer Direct Experience
- Stage Four: Share Inspiration
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Without enthusiasm, people learn very little, and can never have a meaningful experience of nature. By enthusiasm, I don’t mean jumping-up-and-down excitement, but an intense flow of personal interest and alertness.
Awaken Enthusiasm games make learning fun, instructive, and experiential-and establish a rapport between teacher, student, and subject.
Learning depends on focused attention. Enthusiasm alone isn’t enough. If our thoughts are scattered, we can’t be intensely aware of nature, nor of anything else. As leaders, we want to bring students’ enthusiasm toward a calm focus.
Focus Attention activities help students become attentive
and receptive to nature.
Offer Direct Experience
During immersive nature experiences, students make a deep connection with an aspect of nature. Offer Direct Experience activities are built on the students’ enthusiasm and receptivity, and are generally quiet and profoundly meaningful.
By bringing us face to face with a bird, a wooded hill, or any natural subject, Offer Direct Experience activities give us intuitive experiences of nature.
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.
Share Inspiration activities create a sense of completion and an uplifting atmosphere conducive to embracing noble ideals.
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