Giving Compass' Take:

Researchers at the University of Melbourne outline the steps for students to achieve "connectedness" in the classroom that will lead to greater flow of learning.

Why is it important for students to feel connected to the teachers and environment that they are learning in?

Read about the significance of emotional health and school environment.

Most of us have memories of our days at school—usually some good and some not so good. But the chances are the good memories arose when we felt cared for and valued by our peers and the adults who helped us learn.

These positive relationships are an important part of “school connectedness”—the degree to which students perceive the people, places, and activities they experience in a meaningful and important manner.

We are researching connectedness in primary and secondary schools to help find ways to build and strengthen this important plank in the education system. As part of this, we are investigating how connectedness links with factors like loneliness and school achievement.

We found that students need to attend school regularly to build relationships that enhance their sense of self and their relations with the people and groups around them. Then, they can actively engage in learning and this leads to “flow.”

Two of the factors in the new model are focused on building relationships—attending and belonging, and two are based on school performance—engaging and flow:

  • “Attending” is self-explanatory. For students to experience “belonging,” they will typically have positive experiences of school, feel their values align with the school’s, and have good relationships with their peers.
  • Once they become “engaged,” we see them becoming future- and task-focused, modeling positive behavior to their peers, demonstrating good planning skills, being motivated, and being free to learn without fears of not being a full member of the class or school.
  • At the final stage of the model, when students are in a state of “flow,” they are extending themselves beyond the familiar, experiencing intense immersion, involved in activities that are highly challenging and rewarding, which leads to transcendent levels of achievement.

Read the full article about the flow of learning from U. Melbourne at Futurity