When reading an author’s material, it’s important to know something about the writer. What is the person’s background? His or her accomplishments? Theories? Sources of controversy?
While best known for his theory of Flow and as co-founder of the field of Positive Psychology, Mihlay Csikszentmihalyi is one of the most accomplished and respected researchers and writers on creativity. Take some time to explore the Internet for information on the author. Enter “Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi” into Google, YouTube, or your search engine of choice. Explore several sites. Follow what intrigues you.
After you’ve read and thought about what you found, click on the Activity 3: Csikszentmihalyi Biography link. Within this topic, click Create Thread. Enter a subject line that calls attention to the topic(s) or site(s) you will be writing about in your post. In one brief post, summarize one intriguing piece of information you learned about the author. Then copy and paste in the link to your source, so others can check it out if they’d like.
One of my current research projects focuses on understanding educational and business environments that can give rise to creativity. For the last year, our team has been studying an initiative-based high school in Cedar Rapids called IowaBIG. Nearing the end of its fourth year of operation, this school, which is part of the Cedar Rapids Community School District, enrolls 130 students. There are no classes, no lectures, no tests. Students earn their credits toward graduation by working on initiatives with community mentors. You can learn more about the school at www.iowabig.org.
I am currently leading one of these initiatives, which consists of research on student engagement and their experience of flow, a concept we’ll deal with later in the class. In February, we hosted a conversation between Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and the three IowaBIG students who are working on this initiative. You can watch the 40-minute conversation here: https://youtu.be/P996oz8CBVw
The recording starts a few minutes into their teacher providing some background information on the school.
After you’ve watched the conversation, click on the Activity 4: IowaBIG Students’ Conversation with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi link. Enter the subject line of your choice. In one detailed post, post your reactions to what you heard in the conversation. You can write about the concept on which the school is based, about your experience in traditional education, about the role of environments in shaping creativity, really about anything that you like. Use this exchange as a springboard for anything that it provokes within you.
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