You spin me right round……..

Considering I have left my thoughts on the flipped classroom previously (I can’t believe that I have just linked to myself) I can now justify starting another post with a similar line…….. Old things in new ways.

As I have stated previously I love the concept of the flipped classroom. When organised well I firmly believe that it can have positive influences on student learning. Please read my colleagues blog on how he has flipped his senior physics class. He has completed an astounding amount of work to develop a very well structured unit.

Here’s where my punchline comes in. Isn’t it just homework? Couldn’t it be called inquiry based learning? Isn’t the process of going home, doing the reading and getting prepared to discuss what you have read in class in fact, just homework? A classic case of education travelling in a cyclic motion? Isn’t this a new spin on old ways?

Photo by Paul Joseph @ sashafatcat on Flickr

Is the key to this way of thinking relevance? Curiosity? Of course students are going to be more willing to research a topic they are interested in. Isn’t our role to provide that interest? With that interest the need to learn at their own pace will be vitally important as students are genuinely DESPERATE to find out. A respected colleague posted a blog about the act of teaching being a lot like chumming when fishing. We throw a lot of information at the students and hope that some of them bite. We have to make sure its the right chum to ensure curiosity is developed. What is VITALLY important to a classroom, if a classroom is to be flipped, is that the activities that the students are engaged in during class time are challenging AND inspire curiosity…the desire to find out more

In this course and in my current state of revisiting my educational philosophy, the conversation of content v’s concept has been cropping up. There is so much value in concept based teaching that I have had to learn new educational content to keep up…… (that hurts my head).

The flipped classroom has its grounding in knowing a lot of stuff.

Upper high school students NEED to know a lot of stuff in order to do well at school. Having lectures or brief online tutorials to learn difficult calculations, concepts, content is a very valuable tool indeed. One of the rock stars of the flipped world Brian Bennett makes this statement:

“Looking at the class time we’re opening up by time-shifting content delivery, good teachers will fill it with learning experiences, labs, discussions, problem-solving, assimilation work, and creative work that expands upon and enhances the content”

Opening up class time by shifting the content to ANOTHER time. THEN ensuring that activities within the class expand and enhance. Important step but we need to be cautious about reversal of day and night.

Old thing new way.

I do like this new way.

But it is an old thing.

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3 Responses to You spin me right round……..

  1. Avatar of Jesse Scott Jesse Scott says:

    It’s funny that you question if a flipped classroom is just another name for homework. At the PYP exhibition kick off the other night, students were brainstorming ideas that they could tackle for their projects and a commonly heard one was “put an end to homework.” (When) do students reach an age when they are not only ok with homework but actually make that shift to enjoying learning outside of the classroom? Do they actually enjoy it or do they just get used to it?

  2. Jason,

    You have summed up many of my concerns very succinctly. Isn’t the Flipped Classroom just switching when we do what most call homework at school? My, albeit limited, reading on the subject seems to indicate that no one is hiding that fact. Students are expected to do the ‘lecture’ (in whatever form that may take) at home and then the problems at school. No, not really a new idea and our colleague, Paige, says as much in her post Does it pass the Innovation Sniff Test?
    link to coetail.asia

    I am also suspicious of the motivation to flip the class. Is it really to free up time to do more practical work or is it to load up the “required” content while the students are at home? I would still argue that we should have enough time during the school day to learn what it is to be a successful citizen in the current world we live in. Sadly, I think many of us are succumbing to working well beyond the typical work day either because the job demands it, we feel compelled to do it to keep up with peers, or we have been trained to believe it necessary to ‘get-ahead’. All of us need to give our collective heads a shake because it is these types of reasons that end up being applied to our students. It is exhausting.

    As the content for many courses increases, I believe we are looking towards individualized education as a solution. In it, we hope that students learn general skills like communication, collaboration, synthesizing knowledge, organization, etc. and are able to apply it to things of interest. The key here is to be able to assess those general skills while the students develop a knowledge of their own particular content. Currently we don’t really assess those key general skills, especially when it comes to entering the post-secondary world of education.

    Thanks for this post. Love the way you refer to other colleagues blogs (including your own). Also love the reference to ’80s music (the best decade ever, musically).

  3. Jason,

    You have summed up many of my concerns very succinctly. Isn’t the Flipped Classroom just switching when we do what most call homework at school? My, albeit limited, reading on the subject seems to indicate that no one is hiding that fact. Students are expected to do the ‘lecture’ (in whatever form that may take) at home and then the problems at school. No, not really a new idea and our colleague, Paige, says as much in her post Does it pass the Innovation Sniff Test?

    I am also suspicious of the motivation to flip the class. Is it really to free up time to do more practical work or is it to load up the “required” content while the students are at home? I would still argue that we should have enough time during the school day to learn what it is to be a successful citizen in the current world we live in. Sadly, I think many of us are succumbing to working well beyond the typical work day either because the job demands it, we feel compelled to do it to keep up with peers, or we have been trained to believe it necessary to ‘get-ahead’. All of us need to give our collective heads a shake because it is these types of reasons that end up being applied to our students. It is exhausting.

    As the content for many courses increases, I believe we are looking towards individualized education as a solution. In it, we hope that students learn general skills like communication, collaboration, synthesizing knowledge, organization, etc. and are able to apply it to things of interest. The key here is to be able to assess those general skills while the students develop a knowledge of their own particular content. Currently we don’t really assess those key general skills, especially when it comes to entering the post-secondary world of education.

    Thanks for this post. Love the way you refer to other colleagues blogs (including your own). Also love the reference to ’80s music (the best decade ever, musically).

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