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Teaching focusing and thinking skills in high school

High School Flow

Marker Hämeenlinna, Finland
Hobbies, part-time work and studies all take time in young people’s busy schedules. High School Flow provides exercises that help students improve their focusing and thinking skills during the school day.

What is it all about?

“As a student’s thinking skills improve and they learn how to focus on the task at hand, the student can reach conclusions based on analysis.”

The basic school day is stressful and chaotic for high school students. Many young people are torn in many directions and spend a lot of time on mobile devices. All of this emphasizes the importance of practicing how to be present in the moment. Practicing thinking skills, on the other hand, are especially relevant for their future careers and schools should support students with this.

Many high school students have a short-term way of thinking and have problems structuring their studies and using critical thinking. Hectic timetables and divided attentions spur students to choose the quick and easy road. When the results do not match the expectations, kids become stressed and feel inadequate.

The High School Flow model teaches students different methods that help them gain control over their life and their studies. Once students see that their actions make a difference, their learning results sore and creativity blossoms. The students’ wellbeing improves and as they learn to manage their time, chaos in their mind gives way to better problem solving.

This model uses mindfulness to teach students how to be present in the moment and analyze their emotions. Students also learn how to survive hectic schedules and manage shifting circumstances. .

Students learn how to move past roadblocks as they broaden their horizons in challenging exercises and acquire more tools in critical thinking. High School Flow uses methods such as Edward de Bono’s CoRT thinking tools.

High School Flow was piloted at the Hämeenlinna lyceum (high) school in 2016 and the methods continue to support the transformation of the school culture in the future.

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Intended Outcomes
16 - 18
Age Group
Resources Needed
Eight weeks for piloting, training at least one teacher, resources for an outside specialist.
HundrED Criteria
Skills required in the labor market of the future are integrated creatively into the school day.
Developing students’ focusing and thinking skills and improving their abilities to cope with stress.
Just one motivated teacher can use these methods by studying them and receiving training.

See this innovation in action.


Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

The methods
There are many methods that can be used to develop focusing and thinking skills, but High School Flow uses mindfulness exercises and CoRT thinking methods developed by Edward de Bono. You can purchase the latter online.
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The lesson plans are designed to take 45 minutes and are taught by a teacher familiar with the subject.
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Promote the course
Promoting the course to students is important, because the students need to understand the benefits of the course. This will bring the course to the attention of those who need help with managing their school days.
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The lesson structure
The lesson for learning mindfulness and thinking skills can be comprised of several different exercises.
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At the end of the lesson, discuss the exercises with the students.
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High School Flow for the entire school
High School Flow can be just one course or you can embed the exercises into all lessons. You can also use the exercises as a part of homeroom sessions or when you notice a group becoming restless.
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