the fourth space

those spaces in between life, thinking, the physical world, and humanity

Csikszentmihalyi- Vygotsky, Intuition, and Flow

Vygotsky, Intuition & Flow Theory

Posted by Michelle Cannon ⋅ November 10, 2011 ⋅ Leave a Comment

Given his extensive writing on the themes of interactive play, rules and spontaneity and their role in the development of children’s thought and language, it is not surprising, in the context of collaborative children’s media production, for references to the work of Lev Vygotsky to emerge (Burn & Durran 2007:13 & Burn 2009:14). Development of a child’s “zone of proximal development” (Vygotsky 1978:90) – the space between independent problem-solving capacity and that achieved with guidance – is a highly relevant theoretical concept in this field. Vygotsky believes that “in play a child always behaves beyond his average age” (1978:102); further, a child’s propensity towards mimicry and roleplay – habits ideally developed from infancy – circumscribe his/her capacity to imagine a different reality. The interstitial spaces made available by these imaginative leaps should be identified and exploited by educators and allowed to flourish, paving the way, according to Vygotsky, for higher conceptual thought and abstraction.

Burn and Durran (2007) transpose this theory into the realm of digital video editing. Students borrow ideas and material from available symbolic popular cultural resources and by internalizing, recombining and repurposing audiovisual content they coin the new, brand it as their own and return it to society. The concept of re-presenting sampled audio material has been entirely standard in the realms of professional and amateur popular music mixing for the past few decades, therefore, is it not high digital time to accord similar widespread acceptability in schools to the act of mixing and editing the audiovisual, to Burn & Parker’s “multimodal mixing desk”? (2003b:23) Or might this be regarded by some as the first step on the road to writing’s ruin or the erosion of the film canon?

Taken from the same source, the findings of his empirical research are presented thus:
How does it feel to be in flow?

  1. Completely involved, focused, concentrating – with this either due to innate curiosity or as the result of training
  2. Sense of ecstasy – of being outside everyday reality
  3. Great inner clarity – knowing what needs to be done and how well it is going
  4. Knowing the activity is doable – that the skills are adequate, and neither anxious or bored
  5. Sense of serenity – no worries about self, feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of ego – afterwards feeling of transcending ego in ways not thought possible
  6. Timeliness – thoroughly focused on present, don’t notice time passing
  7. Intrinsic motivation – whatever produces “flow” becomes its own reward

The benefits of “intrinsic motivation” have been taken up by Daniel Pink in his book: “The Surprising Truth about what motivates us” (2011) in the context of business productivity.

via Csikszentmihalyi | Fashioning & Flow.


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This entry was posted on March 11, 2013 by and tagged , , , .
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