This article by Shelly Wright is worth a read if you are considering using the ‘Flipped Classroom’. Entitled “The Flip: End of a Love Affair” it discusses how her classroom naturally evolved from trialling the ‘flipped classroom’ in to a wonderful mess of learner centred studies. If you are not familiar with the flipped classroom, essentially it is a teaching strategy which reverses the traditional method of teach in class – study at home. The student watches a lecture or lesson via video, or similar at home, digests, and then the assignments, discussion etc are brought into the classroom. A neat concept which ‘mixes it up’ for both the teacher and student. The teacher can take more of a facilitatory role within the classroom, and the learners are very much in control of the research direction.
Shelly Wright found that by embracing a new teaching strategy which empowered the learner, they thrived. By trusting them wholeheartedly, it soon became apparent that in fact there was no need to produce ‘lessons’ to watch, the learners would research the subject in its entirety. In a short space of time the learners
“became more adept at research, thinking, collaborating, problem solving, and reflecting on their own learning…When students own their learning, then deep, authentic, transformative things happen in a classroom. It has nothing to do with videos, or homework, or the latest fad in education. It has everything to do with who owns the learning”
Of course there are variables here, and I’m not suggesting that you or I would experience the same success. The students must be capable, the course adaptable, the teacher flexible. Confidence in facilitation and trust in the students are key but in this case it seems the flip, flopped and rolled into what could be the future!