Friday, September 14, 2012

Reflections on a New Teaching Model - Flipped Classroom

The concept of the flipped classroom represents a new wave of educational thinking.
Initiated by by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams - teachers at Woodland Park High School, Colorado. Beginning Spring 2007, this involved lectures - instruction online to be viewed at home - and homework at school with the teacher acting as a guide for individual mentoring and students helping one another.
Teacher role becomes tutor role.

Resources suggest that there have been significant improvements in assessment results with a special improvement noted in literacy and numeracy skills.

But some resources suggest that relying completely on the flipped classroom model defies the idea that quality learning needs to recognise different learning styles.

Most schools that have adopted this model seem to be centred in the United States.
There are many resources identifying that behavioural problems in the class environment have now reduced, enhancing more productive activity.

Is this new trend intending to wipe out all other forms of learning or is it only focused on selected lessons?
Teaching should recognise differentiation. In this model, I feel the home learning environment does not recognise this need and relies heavily on the classroom environment to "sort it all out".
Perhaps this model may best suit particular subject areas but not others. It seems to suit Mathematics, but I can't find any example where this classroom model has been used for English teaching.

Could this model be too easily adopted with the intention of modifying/reducing poor classroom behaviour?
For me, this is a possibility.

Further, my experience has taught me that the best learning time of day is the morning.
Students absorb more in a space of time at the beginning of the school day.
Weariness and restlessness settles later in the afternoon - not ideal for beginning a new topic.
So how ideal is it to go home and learn new information?
And what of those students committed to team sports after school?
They may not begin learning till after dinner at night?

Until I see this model in action in Australia, I feel I need to hold my value judgment.
Though I can't escape some suspicions.

Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age - Flipped Classroom (Victoria)
How the Flipped Classroom is Radically Transforming Learning - April 15, 2012

UPDATE: 24.9.12 
I found my first  flipped classroom English outline - for a 6th Grade Vocabulary lesson - posted September 23, 2012 on Your Smarticles by Mary Howard.
Could this transfer into a Year 7 classroom?
I couldn't imagine that older students would be energised by these games, but maybe Year 7?

UPDATE 26.9.12
I have now found my first secondary English flipped classroom unit - Years 10, 11 and 12 - from Cheryl Morris and Andrew Thomasson - team teachers -  via Cheryl's post on Edmodo.
Cheryl has created a blog to it called Morris Flips the English Classroom.
Here is their Complete List of Unit 1 resources on Google Docs.

Particularly impressive is Andrew's Skills Map - perhaps create a rubrics for differentiation of skills?
More to think about!

To teach is to keep learning

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