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Getting into Flow in the Arts Classroom: Research Findings and Implications for Practice

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Research has shown that participation in the arts at school and in the classroom has many academic and personal well-being benefits. Here we outline some of the key effects of arts participation, with particular focus on one of its psychological yields: “flow”.i

Requests for further information about this investigation can be made to Andrew J. Martin, School of Education, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, AUSTRALIA. E-Mail: [email protected]
We then define flow and describe its nine ingredients with particular attention to how these occur in the arts classroom: action-awareness merging, clear goals, unambiguous feedback, concentration on the task at hand, sense of control, loss of self-consciousness, transformation of time, and autotelic experience. Suggested implications for arts educators are then identified to provide guidance on how to build flow into the everyday activities of the arts classroom. Moreover, although we focus on the arts and the arts classroom, applications and implications for other subjects and classrooms are readily evident.ii

The authors would like to thank the Australian Research Council and the Australia Council for the Arts for their assistance in this research.
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Keywords: arts; arts participation; co-curricular; extra-curricular; flow; school; well-being

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2017

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  • Educational Practice and Theory is a bi-annual, independent, refereed journal which, since its launch in 1978, has become an important independent forum for original ideas in education. It publishes innovative and original research in the area. Its focus is both applied and theoretical and it seeks articles from a diverse range of themes and countries.
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