There are a lot of buzzwords being thrown around in the world of education right now. Perhaps the most intriguing one though, is something called “flipping the classroom”. I’ll be honest, when I first heard it, I was dismissive. Just another buzzword, I thought. That was until I actually did some research and realized that I’m actually a huge advocate for this type of teaching model without even knowing it.
The flipped classroom is pretty simple, really. Students watch lectures or presentations on their own time, outside of the classroom in order to get a base of knowledge around a given subject. Once they’re back in the classroom, the students engage in activities and/or labs to reinforce the concepts they’ve learned from the lecture. The instructor all-the-while acts as a facilitator of learning in the classroom, carefully guiding the students through projects and activities and allowing them to explore and discuss amongst themselves. The instructor is also responsible for creating the materials that the students consume outside of the classroom, and can be called upon to clear up any lingering confusion that might ensue from the aforementioned materials.
Where was this model when I was growing up? It’s genius! Seriously, this is what learning is all about. You cannot truly teach someone something. They must learn it for themselves in order to truly absorb the concept and retain it long term, and this model promotes that more so than any other that I’ve seen. Not only does this force the student to come to class prepared, but it gives them an opportunity to work through problems with their peers and get hands-on practice during class with their instructor present, an element that is missing from the traditional take-home-work model.
Here’s a great infographic from Knewton that illustrates what I’m talking about:
As an educator, I’m thrilled to see new and innovative approaches like this being brought into the classroom. As I’ve said before, educators must evolve, and only when they realize that will we truly be able to fix what is broken about education. I’m curious to know your thoughts on flipping the classroom. Hit me up in the comments and let me know. Thanks for reading.